By Todd Blackhurst
Going to the movies in Taiwan is a little bit different than what you may expect in your home country. In this post, I’ll tell you about the different theaters in the Taichung area as well as what you might expect to experience. One of the main differences is that you can purchase food outside and carry it in with you. In addition, most of the theaters food for sale is relatively reasonably priced – at least compared to the theaters in the USA. You can expect to pay a similar price for your tickets – ranging from $180TWD – $300TWD depending on the particular cinema you choose.
Unfortunately, the online and app presence for the theaters are all in Mandarin, so purchasing tickets can be a little complex. If you know what you want to see, you can take the information to your local 7-11 and ask the clerk to help you purchase tickets using the iBon machine. Tickets can be purchased using the LINE app as well if you know how.
For those of you looking for showtimes and locations, here is the list and clickable links to all of the theaters in Taichung. If you prefer to search yourself, you can type this phrase into google maps: 電影
Tiger City – there are two separate theaters at this shopping complex. The regular theater and the Gold Class. The regular theater can be accessed inside the mall by going to the fourth floor through the food court. The Gold Class can only be accessed by elevator.
Top City Department Store – not far from Tiger City is this mega shopping complex located on Taiwan DaDao Road. The Cinema is found by going to the top of the mall by elevator or escalator.
Click this link for all the Vieshow Showtimes – Choose your language at the top right and then use the dropdown to select the theater you wish to see showtimes for. Unfortunately, the online and app presence for Vieshow are all in Mandarin, so purchasing tickets can be a little complex. If you know what you want to see, you can take the information to your local 7-11 and ask the clerk to help you purchase tickets using the iron machine. Cinema with the dropdown and the list will update momentarily.
Showtime Cinema is a relative newcomer to Taichung, but has made quite a splash with two major complexes. Both include shopping and dining. One is located within walking distance from the Taichung Train Station and the other can be found on Wenxin Road near the Fengle Sculpture Park, not too far from the High Speed Rail Station. Unfortunately, their entire online presence is in Mandarin. Click these two links to view showtimes.
Wenxin Fengle Showtime (also has Taichung’s only Burger King in the food court)
ShinKong Cineplex at the Mitsukoshi Department Store 新光三越 – when you click on this link, you will need to check the top of the page. There are three complexes, one in Taipei, one in Taichung and one in Tainan. Please select the link that says: 台中新光影城
Sunrise Theater – This theater is a local favorite. It’s found in the ZhongHua Night Market near the National Taichung University of Education. It’s a favorite of students for the cheaper tickets and the great food selection from the night market. However, the website is all in Mandarin. You have to go to the theater to purchase tickets.
Wovie Cinema (Sogo Department Store) – Click the link for the Taichung Showtimes. This is a great theater located right on Taiwan DaDao Road, near the Calligraphy Greenway and many major hotels and shopping areas. Very easily accessible and also known for it’s smaller theaters with couch seating for couples.
Wonderful Cinema (Discount / 2nd Run) – from this link, choose your date and the movie times will open. This is a discount cinema found near Taichung Park. It’s run down and not one of my personal favorites, but if you are looking for cheap and second run movies – this is a great place to find them. Also located at the end of the ZhongHua night market.
ChinChin Cinema (First Run / plus popcorn and a pop for 50 bucks. And the tickets have points, get 6 points (usually three tickets) you can get a free ticket. – From Taichung Expat Reader Neil Keleher)
Universal Cinema (Discount / 2nd Run) – This second run theater is located adjacent to the campus of the National Taichung University of Education.