Hanoi Culture Guide for Expats:
The main cinemas in Hanoi show Hollywood movies soon on the heels of their American release dates. While you’re unlikely to see a Rambo movie here, in general censorship is not an issue. You can buy tickets in advance in person at the cinema but not by phone or internet.
Megastar is Hanoi’s newest cinema, films are in original languages with Vietnamese subtitles. Check the website for times.
6th Floor, Vincom City Towers
191 Ba Trieu, Tel: 043 974 3333
Fansland Cinema shows movies dubbed in Vietnamese with English subtitles. Lots of classic films as well as new releases. Titles and times are listed in the Vietnam News.
84 Ly Thuong Kiet, Tel: 043 942 4484
For alternative, independent and documentary films, head to Hanoi Cinematheque, Hanoi’s art house cinema. Join Cinematheque for $10/year, and you’ll receive the schedule by email.
22A Hai Ba Trung, Tel: 04 936 2648
There are a number of film festivals in Hanoi throughout the year, usually sponsored by foreign embassies. Check for these events on the Grapevine website at: http://hanoigrapevine.com/
DVDs can be purchased at many outlets all over the city, and are so cheap that there’s no market for rentals. Many of these shops are concentrated in the Old Quarter on Hang Gai, Hang Bai, Trang Tien and Hang Bong streets, and Cinematheque has some DVDs for sale as well. In addition, try these shops:
110 Hang Bac, Tel: 043 926 3227
This shop has English-speaking clerks who will help you find films you’re looking for by name, or even by a description of the characters and plot!
Opera, Theatre, Ballet
For opera, theatre, ballet, and classical music there are a few venues around town, but the Hanoi Opera House has the most consistent performance schedule. Performances are listed in the Vietnam News, but an easier way to keep track of what’s happening is the Hanoi Grapevine website (http://hanoigrapevine.com/) and the Opera House website, which lists performances at all national theaters: http://www.ticketvn.com/. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the mailing list for upcoming events. Tickets at these venues usually run between VND 100,000 – 300,000. Even the most popular performances usually don’t sell out till the day of the show, but get your tickets 2-3 days in advance to be safe.
Hanoi Opera House
1 Trang Tien, Tel: 04 933 1133
Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra
226 Cau Giay, Tel: 04 833 7847
Vietnam Opera-Ballet Theater
11 Ngo Nui Truc,
Tel:(844) 6273 2097