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Best of Canberra call out – cinemas

Charlotte Harper 11 November 2015 30

cinema

In these days of internet TV, iPads, Netflix and cinematic television series like Game of Thrones, cinemas have to offer up something special to get us off our sofas and into their ticket queues.

Luckily, we’re spoilt for choice in Canberra when it comes to going to the movies.

If it’s a family outing you’re after, you might choose popcorn and choc tops at Hoyts at Belconnen or Woden. For a night out with friends, you could grab a drink or dinner in Manuka then head to the movies across the road. If it’s a date, you might choose Dendy in the Canberra Centre or Palace Electric at New Acton so you can grab a glass of sparkling wine before you catch a flick.

The competition is hotting up in coming weeks and months. Hoyts is installing extra comfy seats and adding a liquor licence to its Canberra sites in a bid to compete with Dendy and Palace Electric.

Dendy, meanwhile, has begun work on a major expansion project.

There are cinemas we haven’t mentioned already, like the ARC cinema and Limelight at Tuggerangong, but we’ll leave it to you from here …

Which is your favourite Canberra cinema, and why? We’ll road test your two top picks this weekend and announce our Best of Canberra – Cinema winner next week.


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Best of Canberra call out – cinemas
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Zed 2:02 pm 16 Nov 15

Palace Electric is good, Dendy is not- too many technical problems.

dungfungus 9:27 am 16 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

No_Nose said :

dungfungus said :

Getting to the parking is the problem.

Don’t worry, soon all the southside will be able to drive to Gunghalin, park there and take a tram. Surely that will make it easier.

An example of the “I’m the centre of the universe” thinking.

As you point out everybody on the route of the tram will be able to have a pleasant night out, catching the tram till very late, not have to worry about or pay for the stinky loveliness of the carpark enjoying possibly a nice glass of wine and a meal either before or during the movie or theatre or whatever is on then going home happy without drink driving and endangering everybody else.

But then that would be considerate, thinking of others, and not the Canberra Way, right?

As a bonus your BMW won’t be stolen and burnt to the ground in the car park, so possibly a better night out than you are used to.

I can’t wait another 50 years for a light rail to come to Tuggers so I will drive as long as I can and then get a taxi.
I don’t have a BMW by the way. I used to about 40 years ago when I was well off but it succumbed to one of the Brisbane floods and I wasn’t sad to see it go as German cars are the most overrated ones on the market.
Do you intend to catch the tram to your ski chalets?

VicePope 8:33 am 16 Nov 15

I see a shedload of movies most weeks, because I write short and bitter lemon flavoured reviews for family and friends and just like watching films.
For mine, Limelight is the easiest visit, especially during the day. Palace is probably the best experience, just ahead of Dendy, but parking is problematic; I tend to park over the bridge, except during Floriade. Wouldn’t usually bother with Dendy Premium, though it’s a bit of fun at a significant premium price.
Neither Hoyts is especially good at anything, and Event Manuka is cheap in the day but tries to be more than it is when it needs a serious polish-up inside to compete with the exterior. It would be lovely if the mainstream cinemas put on a few more weird, minor, Oz, foreign or indie movies from time to time, rather than leaving that mostly to Palace or Dendy.

palavida 8:32 am 16 Nov 15

Palace Cinemas — good value (esp if you’re a senior), comfy seating, great variety of screenings, food and drinks, and reasonable parking.

They get my vote.

rubaiyat 8:15 pm 15 Nov 15

No_Nose said :

dungfungus said :

Getting to the parking is the problem.

Don’t worry, soon all the southside will be able to drive to Gunghalin, park there and take a tram. Surely that will make it easier.

An example of the “I’m the centre of the universe” thinking.

As you point out everybody on the route of the tram will be able to have a pleasant night out, catching the tram till very late, not have to worry about or pay for the stinky loveliness of the carpark enjoying possibly a nice glass of wine and a meal either before or during the movie or theatre or whatever is on then going home happy without drink driving and endangering everybody else.

But then that would be considerate, thinking of others, and not the Canberra Way, right?

As a bonus your BMW won’t be stolen and burnt to the ground in the car park, so possibly a better night out than you are used to.

whiteknight 7:04 pm 15 Nov 15

ANU Film Group, hands down. Best value cinema in the country. Where else can you pay a one-off membership fee and see as many films as you want?

Celebrating 50 years next year too, so they’re clearly doing something right. Do yourself a favour if you’ve never been and look into it – I find it hard to see a film anywhere else these days.

dungfungus 5:55 pm 14 Nov 15

JC said :

gooterz said :

What dandy redevelopment?
Anything to do with half of civic looking empty?

Denby is taking over part of the roof top carpark in the Canberra Centre and expanding. As it will be over the road a bridge will link the existing foyer with the new part.

Is Dendy owned by Dandy Denby?

JC 10:30 pm 13 Nov 15

gooterz said :

What dandy redevelopment?
Anything to do with half of civic looking empty?

Denby is taking over part of the roof top carpark in the Canberra Centre and expanding. As it will be over the road a bridge will link the existing foyer with the new part.

No_Nose 4:51 pm 13 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

Getting to the parking is the problem.

Don’t worry, soon all the southside will be able to drive to Gunghalin, park there and take a tram. Surely that will make it easier.

dungfungus 2:59 pm 13 Nov 15

rubaiyat said :

The ANU Film Group. now 40 years old, has to be THE best bargain in Canberra or anywhere in Australia.

If they would fix the heating it would be even better value.
Sausage roils in the kiosk behind the screen are good even though they are nuked in a microwave oven.

rubaiyat 1:18 pm 13 Nov 15

The ANU Film Group. now 40 years old, has to be THE best bargain in Canberra or anywhere in Australia.

dungfungus 8:58 am 13 Nov 15

gooterz said :

What dandy redevelopment?
Anything to do with half of civic looking empty?

Usually, Tony Abbott or the airport people are blamed for Civic looking empty (which it is).

gooterz 1:15 am 13 Nov 15

What dandy redevelopment?
Anything to do with half of civic looking empty?

dungfungus 8:25 pm 12 Nov 15

Sandman said :

How do you have problems parking at Dendy? I don’t think I’ve ever parked more than 20m from the lift that takes you right up to the cinema, and our Friday night session that ended around 9:05 last week resulted in a $2 parking charge. Bargain at twice the price.
Online booking meant we had perfect seats, plenty of sessions to ensure we could work around when the wives would be home from work to take care of the kids.

Prices are starting to get up there, but I’ll still only go to Dendy.

Getting to the parking is the problem.

Masquara 6:22 pm 12 Nov 15

The ACT Government in partnership with New Acton entrepreneurs should opportunistically hop in and poach Tropfest … a Canberra-owned short film festival would be great!

batmantrilogy 4:19 pm 12 Nov 15

I have been to palace for most of the time !
Always had great experience.
Although netflix has totally revolutionized everything .

Sandman 3:48 pm 12 Nov 15

How do you have problems parking at Dendy? I don’t think I’ve ever parked more than 20m from the lift that takes you right up to the cinema, and our Friday night session that ended around 9:05 last week resulted in a $2 parking charge. Bargain at twice the price.
Online booking meant we had perfect seats, plenty of sessions to ensure we could work around when the wives would be home from work to take care of the kids.

Prices are starting to get up there, but I’ll still only go to Dendy.

Alexandra Craig 3:19 pm 12 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Mysteryman said :

miz said :

Limelight https://www.facebook.com/Limelightcinemas/

Shows all the good movies and then some, and doesn’t rip you off. Even more discounts are available through the loyalty card. And you get free parking – just ask the cashier to extend your two hour ticket.
Very popular and well patronised, particularly over the Christmas/New Year period, so get there a bit early.

It’s almost impossible to see a movie and get change from a $20 note anywhere in Canberra other than Tuggeranong. I’m glad Limelight haven’t done the usual “open up with reasonable prices then jack them up to un-competitive levels within a year” trick that every other cinema in the ACT has done – I’m looking at you, Palace Electric. If Limelight wasn’t a 30min drive away, I’d go there far more often.

I still don’t know why they haven’t opened a Limelight cinema in Gungahlin. There’s a rapidly expanding population are no other cinemas nearby.

While I’m ranting, I’m not sure I like the “book online” system that every other cinema has. Sure, it’s great that you can choose your seating, but knowing that most sessions already have all the good seats taken even though nobody has arrived yet, has soured the fun of spontaneously walking into a cinema and deciding to watch a film.

Only $10 a ticket at Manuka cinema 🙂

You don’t look old enough to get a senior’s concession.

Haha! It’s $10 for everyone, except child tickets which cost $7.50 😀

Mess 12:32 pm 12 Nov 15

+1 for Palace. All my experiences there have been positive.

Dendy, especially in the premium cinema can be very hit and miss. Last time we went the seats hadn’t been cleaned from the previous session and the couple in front of us spent the whole movie talking and using their phone. When you pay a bit extra for your movie you expect certain standards and unfortunately they weren’t met.

Rollersk8r 12:00 pm 12 Nov 15

Don’t mind taking the kids to Palace – and getting a big glass of red!

However, could write a whole separate rant on that carpark under the Nishi building. What a nightmare.

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