Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Attention, Londoners! Prince Charles will save the day!

Since 2007 I have been unceremoniously whinging my little mis-matched socks off about the cinema experience. That it costs too much, that people eat too noisily within their walls, that nachos have no place in a dark room full of smell-sensitive people, that the adverts go on too long and the seats give me numb-bum. Or perhaps that was just after watching The Good Shepherd (yawn), but still.

The point remains, book two tickets to any big name cinema in the London area and you will be relieved of at least £18.75. This, my little pork pies, is ridiculous. Odeon, Vue, I'm looking at you.

At last, there is a solution to my woes. Having discovered this little gem a few months before going travelling, I have once again picked up the listings and got myself membership to The Prince Charles cinema in London's West End. Never mind the awful Hollywood cash-in remakes, what about the originals? The PCC is independent, has comfy leather seats complete with head rests, screens new and classic films and best of all, the clincher: I can now see them all for the skint-friendly price of £4.50. Or £1.50 if I go during the day. Which I can. Because I'm still unemployed, facing a lifetime of unpaid internships until the cows, sheep, horses, pigs, farmer, his errant teenage son and business tripping wife all come home, grow vegetables, cook them, and eat dinner around the kitchen table.

The downside is that you'll have to walk within leg-cocking distance of Leicester Square in order to get there. Sorry about that. But once inside, head downstairs, get a beer and forget all about the fat German woman with a stuffed rucksack on her front, yelling "We must gehen to zie Hippodrome, jah" to her bumbag wearing boyfriend. Because they do yell. All European visitors to London seem to yell at each other, whether they're two feet apart on the tube (where no one speaks) or shouting Ancient Egyptian anecdotes across the room in the British Museum (where no one should speak).

As if to prove my point, this happened while I was watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon. A group of Europeans - possibly Spanish - clearly mistook the Prince Charles for a comfortable indoor football stadium and began their loudness just as the film's certificate popped up on the screen.

Seconds later, they were told in no uncertain terms to "SHUUUUT UPPPP". Because, unlike at the Odeon, the people who go to the Prince Charles actually seem to want to watch the film being shown. Not eat, talk, or translate their way through it. And since they got rid of the double "lovers' seats" at the back in the recent revamp, no one's getting up to any sexytime either (boo hiss to that though. Those seats were great.).

And anyway, who wants to see Angelina Jolie hopping across trucks when you can watch a mechanical shark scaring the beans out of unsuspecting Amity residents? Not me, sir. For I am going independent from now on, and that means Jaws, E.T and Breakfast at Tiffanys on the big screen. Hurrah.

I'm off to re-kindle my love for cinema. See you at the back.


The Unbearable Banishment said...

The last time I saw a film in London was the awful "V for Vendetta" at the Odeon. It was so bloody expensive! And when you factor the poor exchange rate, I ended up paying about $27 U.S. for a bad movie in a uncomfortable theater full of ill-behaved tourists. Harumph.

nuttycow said...

Went to see Inception the other day and it cost me about £18 a ticket. Not so fun!

London-Lass said...

I took my mum to see a `special showing' of It's A Wonderful Life at this very cinema a few years ago. I agree, it's so much better than the big comfy sofa'd popcorn selling overpriced leviathons you have to endure these days. PS : Two tickets to see Avator in Essex cost OVER £20. And I'm looking at you, Odeon.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Unbearable - The West End cinemas are the WORST for this. The last time I went to one it was £10 a ticket, and I've never been in such cramped, packed conditions in a cinema. Then they have the cheek to put a load of adverts up saying that if you download films you're killing cinema, well sod that. If Hollywood didn't insist on making such crap films, and if the cinemas didn't charge so much to see those crap films, and pack as many nacho-eating people in as possible, maybe people WOULD choose cinema over downloads. I know I would.

Nuttycow - Yeah, it's bad abroad. I paid £14 to see Toy Story in 3D in America. I almost took the glasses home with me to justify the price!

Londonlass - The PCC is a great cinema, I've seen The Godfather, Moon and now Fear and Loathing there. There's nothing like seeing the classics all crackley on a big screen.

Another fantastic independent cinema outside of London is The Rex in Berkhampstead. Huge comfy seats, arm chairs downstairs and a bar serving throughout the film, a little table for each set of chairs, and a really good selection of films. It's £10 for a ticket downstairs for arm chairs and bar access, £7 upstairs for big comfy normal seats. Watched Scarface there, it was epic.

Anonymous said...

I really like the sound of it, since I've discovered the joy of watching old films at the cinema and don't always have £arm.leg to spend watching them at the BFI!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

China - I can't reccommend it enough. Never been to the BFI, like you say, it's always a bit pricey for me. Check out The Rex if you like your indies, as well.

Robbie said...

If they ever play Plan 9 give me a shout.
Also I wouldnt mind putting up with talkers in a cinema, as long they were as funny as Mystery Theatre 3000 guys...and even better if they were puppets.


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