Today I went and saw The Kings Speech – a most excellent piece of cinema which I cannot recommend highly enough. Now I previously mentioned this film on Day 17 – and I still think it is a terrible thing that the British Film Council is to be scrapped. That is not the source of today’s inspiration however.
I am the owner of a Cineworld Unlimited card which entitles me to as many movies as I can watch in any Cineworld cinema outside of London’s West End for less than the price of two standard admissions. Now this morning I was up relatively early to take my sister-in-law to Bristol to get her bus back to university. As such, we took in an early screening. Being as it was a Sunday morning and most decent people were hung over in bed we were pretty much the youngest people in the place. And it seems that the hype around the film had dragged all sorts of people out on a Sunday morning – pensioners, families, and sitting to our right a middle-aged couple.
The gentleman, it became apparent as we all sat and munched on over salty snack foods had not been to the cinema for some time. 16 years in fact he estimated. This led him to make some interesting observations about his experience:
1) That the toilets were immaculately clean
Now I don’t know where the gentleman had last gone to the cinema, and I know that sometimes they gents can get a bit messy, but it seemed odd to me that he would not expect the toilets in any venue that had opened only 30 minutes ago to be anything but. He seemed very pleased with this.
2) To wonder where the usherettes were
With torches to show you to your seat. So for this man you had an allocated seat, and someone to show you to it. He really hadn’t been for a long time. However this idea is a nice one, and still happens in theatres, and gives a real feeling of customer service – a shame that the tradition has gone in our multi screen society.
3) To not be able to buy an ice cream in the screen
Now this one I remember from cinemas – the last time I remember happening is when they changed the reels whilst I was watching The Fugitive with my dad. Again, a loss of customer service – you have to go out to the lobby and queue up again if you fancy an over priced dairy product at the midway point.
However, I can give this man all his desires. He will need to drive to Suffolk, and visit Aldeburgh Cinema, where all of these things still happen.
The toilets are pretty clean too.
Or the Kinema in the Woods at Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. A really nostalgic step back in time!