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Best of Canberra call out – cinemas

By 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.

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Best of Canberra call out – cinemas
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.

dungfungus 11:44 am 12 Nov 15

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.

Alexandra Craig 10:17 am 12 Nov 15

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 🙂

Mysteryman 9:15 am 12 Nov 15

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.

dungfungus 10:43 pm 11 Nov 15

Postalgeek said :

dungfungus said :

The curse is still the rude people who insist on playing with their devices while the film is showing. I have found a solution is to move from my preferred seat and sit upright immediately in front of them to block their view of the screen (in case they decide to watch the movie).

Went to the cinema on Saturday and some idiot kept checking his messages next to me. i don’t think sitting in front, unless you’re 7 foot something is going to work, as nowadays the tiered seating seems to be quite effective. And that’s assuming the seat in front is vacant.

I’ve decided my personal response will be to silently hold my phone about a foot from the side of their head with an ‘Annoying, isn’t it’ message on the screen.

I like it (but I’ll have to buy a phone to try it).

miz 6:52 pm 11 Nov 15

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.

Postalgeek 6:30 pm 11 Nov 15

dungfungus said :

The curse is still the rude people who insist on playing with their devices while the film is showing. I have found a solution is to move from my preferred seat and sit upright immediately in front of them to block their view of the screen (in case they decide to watch the movie).

Went to the cinema on Saturday and some idiot kept checking his messages next to me. i don’t think sitting in front, unless you’re 7 foot something is going to work, as nowadays the tiered seating seems to be quite effective. And that’s assuming the seat in front is vacant. I’ve decided my personal response will be to silently hold my phone about a foot from the side of their head with an ‘Annoying, isn’t it’ message on the screen.

Holden Caulfield 4:32 pm 11 Nov 15

Dendy Premium is obviously a winner too, if budget isn’t an issue.

bd84 3:25 pm 11 Nov 15

Generally Dendy or Palace have more tolerable clientele that will cause less disruption to your viewing pleasure. Join their club for cheaper tickets, the downside is paying for parking.

My Hoyts visits are usually less pleasurable, needing to put up with kids kicking the back of the seats, talking or playing with their phones throughout the movie.

dungfungus 3:18 pm 11 Nov 15

Dendy set the standard for “sizzle” when they opened a few years ago. It was my favourite but access and parking in that area makes it a problem these days.
The Palace complex in New Acton is quirky but good and concessional parking underneath (when available) is great value. I found it hard to place a wine glass on the space between the seats without it sliding off but with a $9 per glass minimum now it is a pleasure I can’t afford.
Seating and sound is excellent as it is at Manuka.
There are other venues that are good namely the theatre at NGA and the ANU Film Group. Concessions are available at almost every regular venue but probably the best is Palace.
The curse is still the rude people who insist on playing with their devices while the film is showing. I have found a solution is to move from my preferred seat and sit upright immediately in front of them to block their view of the screen (in case they decide to watch the movie).
When is RiotACT getting its own “resident” film critic? I love Ben Pobje in the CT but Canberra is big enough for another.
We are blessed with annual film festivals here and the choice an quality available makes it difficult to stay home and watch TV or a DVD.

Holden Caulfield 3:05 pm 11 Nov 15

Palace Cinemas for me, mostly due to the broader range of films they screen (festivals, retro etc). Popping up to Monster for a pre- or post-movie drink/snack also helps.

Aside from the parking, of course, which is pants most of the time (pro-tip: park across the road near the Shine Dome).

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