About a year ago, my Dad came to visit me in London with my two brothers. One day, I had lectures, so he took my brothers out for the day and they ended up in the cinema in Leicester Square. Yes, I know, what absolute tourists.
Now, being a Dubliner, my Dad loves a good moan every now and then, and this particular trip to the cinema gave him so much fodder for complaint that he still mentions it every one in awhile.
He was horrified to find that this excursion to watch a film set him back over £50 for three tickets and some popcorn. “Fifty pounds! Fifty pounds to sit in the dark and have someone press play on a movie! Could have done that at home!” he exclaimed all evening.
Usually I’m the first to roll my eyes and say “Oh whisht” (Irish-speak for “be quiet”), but I actually have to agree with him on this one.
Part of going to the cinema is the experience, it is far, far nicer to sit in a cinema theatre and watch a movie than it is to watch it on your laptop screen. Understandably, the experience isn’t free and the price of your ticket goes towards covering the costs of running a cinema.
But charging upwards of £12 for a ticket seems excessive, especially when places like the Genesis Cinema in Whitechapel can charge £3.50 for their tickets on both Mondays and Wednesdays. Yes, you read that right, £3.50.
Having recently discovered the Genesis Cinema, I now cannot actually justify going anywhere else. I paid a visit last night with the Slav, to go see The Inbetweeners Movie, and it’s only server to solidify how much I love the place. The tickets are amazingly cheap, like seriously, a night at the cinema for less than a venti Frappucino in Starbucks? Amazing.
On top of that, it’s an independent, family- run cinema, so it’s nice to know that our custom is actually benefiting someone in the community, rather than a faceless corporation. And finally, even though the price is low, the quality is not. The screen we were in last night was huge, easily the size of a standard Leicester Square theatre. They do have smaller screens too, but the seats are all perfectly comfortable, it’s clean, air conditioned, the staff are all really pleasant and friendly, and the decor of the lobby and bar is lovely – I’m a sucker for exposed brick.
I’m almost reluctant to press “publish” on this blog post, lest half of London decide to make their way down to Whitechapel and crowd the cinema.
One of my friends recently asked me to go see a movie. My response was “Only if we can go in Whitechapel.”
Seriously, check them out.