When our car broke down at Christmas I made a decision and severed my commitment to Cineworld. No more unlimited card. I needed the freedom back in my life.
We firstly tried out the Reel Cinema on Borehamwood high street - we could walk there, it's cheap, it seemed pretty much perfect. Our first film was Mission Impossible 4 which in all honestly, was an ace film. The cinema was small, comfy and the projection quality was pretty damn good for £3.80 a ticket. BUT THE PEOPLE. Oh the people. The bloke next to me got his phone out to check FACEBOOK.
Facebook is really not the centre of the universe, you don't need to bring it to a screening of Mission Impossible 4 where really you should be captivated by all the explosions and stunts and Tom Cruise's massive teeth. The second time he got it out I politely told him that it was drawing my eye and he profusely apologised and didn't get it out again. That's all it took. One little word and he was so embarrassed I never saw his phone again.
The second time we went to Reel we saw Chronicle. We sat at the front so that there would be no phones in front of us to pull our eyes away from the screen. But no. No. One man just HAD to answer his phone mid film and have a conversation. Twat. It's a cinema- not your living room at home. Have some bloody respect.
Thus ended our relationship with Reel cinemas.
As a 'treat' we thought that we'd head back to Cineworld Enfield to see Woman in Black. Being a horror film we hoped that the audience would be so into it that we wouldn't see a phone in sight. The cinema was packed - great atmosphere, we had great seats. In truth the audience were hooked - lots of nervous giggles (myself included) and whimpers and screams. But there was one guy right down on the front row who had his phone out for the ENTIRE time. I means WTF?! It was just in the centre of my eyeline for the whole film and there were times when I knew I should have been petrified out of my pants but there I was just getting angry about this guys phone!! Dan also had to ask the girl next to him to put her phone away (again, another Facebook addict) and after that we never saw it again. Magic.
It is actually really scary how smart phones are becoming an addiction. I'm quite happy to admit that I do use mine a lot for browsing and social networking - I was brought up in a generation where the 'thing' to do in the evening was to chat on MSN messenger. So it's only something that I'm used to. - but I would NEVER feel the need to get my phone out in the cinema. Whereas this new breed of people has emerged where they literally just cannot leave their phones alone. It's frightening.
How many people have you walked into on the street just because their nose was stuck in their phone?! I do it on purpose now for laughs...
So last night, our friend Rico suggested that we visit a little cinema in Finchley which he'd heard great things about. The Phoenix Cinema. The tickets were a decent price - £9.50. But believe me when I tell you that it was well worth it. There was a teeny cafe in front of the screening room which sold a whole variety of hot and cold snacks. You could actually have a full meal there before or after your film. We had a lovely cup of tea before the film and chilled out which was very very nice :)
The auditorium was lush. The seats were pretty basic but it's a 100 year old cinema so it kind of all fitted with the vintage feel of the place. (GOLD PANELS ON THE WALL!!!) There were ladies next to us drinking red wine (that smell... drooool) and even though the cinema was half-filled the atmosphere was beautiful. Nice and chilled and everyone was there to watch the film and not to socialise with their mates over Facebook. The best part? No chatting. AND NO PHONES. It was so nice to hear people as they were leaving asking each other if they fancied a drink - just like the old days, making a night of it at the cinema.
Here's some photos of the beautiful interior:
So now Dan and I are on a mission to visit more independent cinemas. The welcoming, vibrant atmosphere was just a huge cut above the robot-driven manufactured cinemas that are taking over the world.
So I urge you all to support your local independent cinemas. Try them out again for yourselves :)