I love the cinema. I hate the cinema.

cinemaI love watching films at the cinema. I hate my local cinema. I’m talking about the Reel cinema in Widnes, Cheshire, England, UK, the World, the Solar System, the Universe (let’s get really really specific!). Its only been open a year or so but I’ve hated it from Day One. I wanted to give the place a fair chance to get over any teething troubles so I held off from criticising it until now. But on Friday I went there with two other people to watch The Hobbit (for a review of the film go to http://filmvan.wordpress.com/ ) and was told that the heating had broken and we’d have to sit through the 2 hour 46 min film in temperatures below zero. No discount on ticket price was offered; you had to take it or leave it. By the end of the movie we were sitting there like three pissed off snowmen. The concept of snowballs took on a new meaning. This was only the latest pain that Reel cinema Widnes has put me through.

It operates a policy of strict adherence to seat numbers but does not prevent latecomers from entering. Therefore you get people coming in after the film has started and having arguments with other people about whether they are sat in the correct seat or not. Reel cinema Widnes also operates policies of always having popcorn scattered on the floor in the foyer, always having too few staff on, and always serving customers out of order on a first one to barge to the front basis.

Reel cinema Widnes also shows half an hour of adverts and trailers before the film comes on. Thirty minutes! That’s like having a commercial break in the middle of your favourite TV programme lasting half-an-hour! Also, Reel cinema, Widnes leaves annoying overhead lights on throughout the film which cast a faint glow on the picture for the whole time the film is playing! And of course Reel cinema Widnes charges astonishingly high prices for popcorn of the type which guarantees to make you choke to death by the second reel. A packet of Minstrels will require a bankers draft.

You may be wondering why I go back to such a hell hole and I must admit I keep asking myself the same question. I should boycott the place really. And I would as well. If the films weren’t so brilliant.