Independent Cinemas Unite
I heard something horrifying this morning. I mean, I live in central London – the place where the phrase “due to a disturbance” means “someone else has topped themselves” – so I’m pretty used to hearing horrifying things, but still. This one was particularly bad. A friend of mine went to the cinema in Covent Garden last night – a casual evening of mirth, he thought to himself, what jolities, what fun – and had to pay £28 for two tickets. I’ll write it out properly, because number-words are the blasty fireworks of language – Twenty. Eight. Pounds. Alright yes, two of those pounds were for icecream (presumably bought to try and sweeten the bitter, bitter shock he’d just experienced), but that still means that those tickets cost £13 (thirteen pounds) each. To add insult to injury, the screen he was ushered into – gibbering hysterically and with only his chocolate chunk as a shield – was tiny. He was told that the tiny-ness of the room made it “more intimate”, and “more of an experience”. They neglected to include that actually, it was just “smaller”. Thirteen pounds to watch a film in a room where the only difference between it and your lounge is that it’s full of people you don’t know, and if your ice-cream falls onto your trousers you’re damn well licking it off. What’s more, it was a film about Sean Bean getting the plague. What kind of a world do we live in?
Money money money… not so funny.
Beany diseases aside, there is no way we should have to pay thirteen pounds for a cinema ticket. Yes, it’s London, yes, it’s Covent Garden, yes, people will literally explode money when confronted with those first two factors, but you know what? A cinema is a cinema is a cinema. You walk into a room, the lights go down, the film plays. No matter where you see it, that is what is going to happen. Thirteen pounds? I know a man who can get you many quality DVDs for that price – with the authentic bonus of watching lots of people’s heads blocking the screen.
It’s time we had a re-think about the cinemas we visit. There’s never been a better time to support our local independent cinemas, and start hitting the corporate big dogs with bats made of pure not-giving-them-money. Ticket prices are ever rising, and as much as cinemas like to blame the 3D revolution, a lot of the “3D” films out there are not actually filmed with 3D cameras, and therefore don’t deserve their 3D label The added effects are just tagged on in post-production, creating at best an annoying eye-blurring experience. I went to see Clash Of The Titans 3D last month. It was like watching a very boring fight through a mixing bowl.
What do you know about local cinemas near you? The ones that don’t have the words “Odeon”, “CineWorld”, “Empire” or “Vue” blasted across the wall like cut-and-paste graffiti? You don’t go to the same restaurant every week, so why make your screen experience the same every time? When you’re next hankering to see Sean Bean die slowly and plague-ily, stop and have a wee think about the screen options near you. And if you know of a local gem – help us tell the world! Email us at [email protected] and we’ll promote your favourite cinema on-site and via our twitter account – as well as encourage others to help. It’s often more difficult for people outside of massive cities to find a decent independent screen – which is why we need you to tell us about them! Knowledge is power my friends, knowledge is reasonably priced icecream. The ridiculousness has to stop somewhere. Thirteen pounds – wars have been fought over less. Get in touch, get looking around, and get Sean’s dissolving flesh at a price you can stomach.
(For my part, I’d recommend Rio cinema in Dalston, London – reasonable prices, great selection of international as well as mainstream movies and a fantastic atmosphere. A full price ticket is £6.50, with students paying a fiver. Go people! Go go go!)
By Natasha Hodgson