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Canberra cinemas?

By johnboy - 10 April 2007 50

On Thursday I went to see “300” at Hoyts Belconnen (apart from tying the psychopathic homosexual Spartans to the agendas of right wing America it was entertaining enough).

No box office and the concession stand which was selling tickets was not properly opened (only the one tap head serving drinks meaning the whole process was painfully slow).

It got me thinking… Are there any decent points to be found in Canberra cinemas?

Let’s leave aside the new but rapidly crumbling Dendy. Is there anything good to be said about the cinema experience in this town?

Or is it time to settle down on the couch with my properly balanced surround sound and watch what comes off the torrents with a beer from the fridge?

What’s Your opinion?

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50 Responses to
Canberra cinemas?
Absent Diane 11:22 am 10 Apr 07

I think mainstream movies will die off soon- either in terms of quality or number of high quality. This is because there seems to be a trend of producing high quality/budget television shows these days. Which indicates that people want all the wizbang of a blockbuster plus the character/plot development of a serial.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 11:16 am 10 Apr 07

“How much do you think choc tops cost to make? Hint: It’s nowhere near #3.60 “

And herein lies the point. I don’t think people mind paying 10 bucks for a ticket, but getting screwed for food just sucks. Which is why in Woden I will walk all the way to the other end of the mall to go to Woolies. 10 bucks in Woolies buys nibblies and soft drinks for 2 people easy.

johnboy 11:14 am 10 Apr 07

Choc tops only made sense in a single screen house where the staff had nothing to do between shows.

In a plex you’re always on the go and they have to roster staff on just to crank the suckers out, better margins on a Cornetto if you factor in the staff costs.

jacross 11:04 am 10 Apr 07

Charging $5 a ticket would soon see cinemas go out of business. If you think the box office is where cinemas make their money you are out of your mind.

How much do you think choc tops cost to make? Hint: It’s nowhere near #3.60

johnboy 11:01 am 10 Apr 07

Well the business model of cinemas is meant to be from selling drinks, popcorn, and lollies to the passing customers.

Overseas the distributor keeps almost all the ticket sales and the cinema keeps the food and drink sales. Creating a financial incentive to keep the customers in a good mood between buying tickets and getting to their seats.

In Australia the model got screwed up because the distributors own the cinemas.

Hence merging the box and concession areas makes sense in the very short term. For all that it’s killing their business in the long run.

It also makes them resistant to charging less for a ticket rather than just scrimping ever further on staffing and maintenance and screwing the last drop of blood out of the last customer of habit.

West_Kambah_4eva 10:48 am 10 Apr 07

On the weekend I downloaded DVD quality copies of Casino Royale, Little Miss Sunshine, Children of Men, The Prestige, Bra Boys and 300.

I’ma just sayin’ that it was cheaper and easier than going to the movies. On the other hand, I’d RATHER to go to the movies – if they charged something reasonable. In this day and age, with all market forces taken into account, charging any more than $5 a movie is an absolute mindboggling rip off.

James-T-Kirk 10:37 am 10 Apr 07

“The cinema was almost deserted.”

Makes you wonder how business model actually makes money.

James-T-Kirk 10:36 am 10 Apr 07

Ahhh, No, I have the borat copy with the “mankini” on order…

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 10:22 am 10 Apr 07

I already have Borat – want a look?

I went to the movies in Woden last week with the wife and found it slow to get tickets. We never buy snacks at the movies (but rather BYO from Woolies). The cinema was almost deserted.

James-T-Kirk 10:09 am 10 Apr 07

Cost for a family of 4 to see a movie (on a day of their choice – Not Tuesday) – Costs rounded to simplify the math…

Tickets – $11 * 4 – About $40
Popcorn and drinks * 2 – About $20
Parking $4

Total = $64.00

Now, compare that to paying top dollar to have the DVD of your choice delivered rom to my doorstep and watching it on my home setup…

Movie – $35 (Can watch it whenever I want)
Nibblies – $10

Total – $40

The math is pretty simple…

Oh, And if you are desperate to watch borat before it comes out on DVD, just download it as a torrent file… (That should stir things up a bit)

bonfire 9:58 am 10 Apr 07

dendy is a very shoddy affair.

a friend defied my boorish ban on dendy and shouted me a ticket to see 300.

while standing in the lobby i noticed paint runs on those weird pressed metal bookend things above the box office. i also noticed sloppy painting in other places.

we sat in the cinema and when i lent on the armrest – it broke off!

in fact the whole cinema has an air of ‘on the cheap’ about it.

enjoyed the film though.

cabbage 9:50 am 10 Apr 07

‘Tight Ass Tuesdays at Manuka, followed or preceeded by noodles at Timmys, are always good value.

stan_bowles 9:40 am 10 Apr 07

The biggest positive for me is the sheer variety. For a city of 330,000 I think we’re better off than a number of other cities around Australia.

You’ve got your Hoyts for your blockbusters (with GU civic as a cheap alternative), your Dendy for your foreign/indie films, and GU Manuka for the movies that fall somewhere in between. Not to mention NFSA screenings and the ANU Film Group. Plus there is a thriving short film scene in Canberra as well via things like Lights Canberra Action and Short Seasons.

schmerica_ 9:38 am 10 Apr 07

Its too expensive to go to the movies, well for me anyway. Even with student discounts and ‘Tight Ass Tuesdays’ I just wait for them to come out on DVD and if I still want to see it, i’ll think about hiring it.

Thumper 9:31 am 10 Apr 07

Is there anything good to be said about the cinema experience in this town?


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