Canberra cinemas?

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?

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50 Responses to Canberra cinemas?
Genie Genie 4:49 pm 10 Apr 07

With the ease of extra large Plasma and superfast internet, why pay to go to the movies anymore. Hoyts Belco sux – when they first opened tix were $5, and you have to walk so far to go the the loo, makes you not wanting to buy their supersmall cokes for $5 a pop (dont forget its 90% ice too). I live in Belco and drive out to Woden to go to the movies – but again with the whole lazyness thing, why walk all the way down to Coles and Woolies for munchies when Big W is right upstairs ???

Did someone also mention 10 redskins for a BUCK ?? yummo

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 3:39 pm 10 Apr 07

When I went to the Premium VIP cinema in Bangkok, they had allocated seating, as well as impeccably clean cinemas, friendly helpful staff and nice food. And all for less than 2 bucks a movie!

bonfire bonfire 3:34 pm 10 Apr 07

i really miss the center cinema.

great screen. great sound. great seats. great location.

ineresting programming.

remember the friday night shows ?

the fact its a nightclub now is a crime against culture.

johnboy johnboy 2:45 pm 10 Apr 07

I think a moment’s thought spent on crowd control would do wonders for the experience, and fully allocated seating for new releases over the weekend would do wonders for reducing the surges (also the pre-booking surcharges would cover the cost of the extra staff that requires).

But a bit of thought and a bit of investment are needed as they’re all looking run down in this town.

Delbosca Delbosca 2:08 pm 10 Apr 07

Come on Johnboy why so negative, what do you want in Canberra some intergalactic transporter style cinema , where you get teleported from you lounge room to your very own cinema styled fantasy???? But aside from the ever crumbling Dendy? Give them a break the “storm effected Dendy” is back at it and providing what I can say is a 1st class cinema experience and no this is not Craig with a new handle , but to make comment not an attack Dendy is still number one for me premium class that is, and I do like Hoyts woden , it the best out of the hoyts 3, you can go see a movie then go to barbar for a good ole latte

Non_Sequitur Non_Sequitur 1:58 pm 10 Apr 07

What really boils my coil is the simple fact of having to wait for the spotty teenager to fill five cokes before I can buy my ticket. I’m one of the ones who enjoys lining up, enjoys the smell of the popcorn and the thrill of wading through the Val Morgan advertising to get to the feature. I have a good dvd system, I buy movies and watch them at home, but I really do like the cinema experience. Unfortunatley the transparent attempt to force me to go to the candy counter to buy my ticket is really putting me off and is spoiling the experience. A triffling matter, but enough to stop this customer from shelling out my $15 bucks a fortnight. Its almost been 3 months since my last movie experience and I can’t see that ban being lifted soon. Hoyts, just let me buy my ticket and I’ll decide as an informed consumer whether or not I want to buy that choc top or not!

Ralph Ralph 1:40 pm 10 Apr 07

Agree. It’s the other people you have to put up with that turns me off cinemas.

JD114 JD114 1:37 pm 10 Apr 07

Cinemas are too loud and I find my concentration is often directed towards my suffering ears rather than the action on the screen.

$15 to watch an often out of focus screen with some garlic laden person chewing their excruciating way through a very loud ice cream cone, or one by one crackling their way through a whole bag of minties, is probably not a big worry for adrenalin laden teenagers but for the last fifteen odd years has proven to be more than my own sensibilities can handle.

So for $5.95, and an investment in a 68cm screen wired up to my stereo, I get to enjoy an unpolluted environment in which to watch what i want, when I want, and in virtual silence. Sure the screen isn’t so big, but five minutes into the film I don’t even notice that aspect of the experience.

Movies are good for socially active types, DVDs are better for the pure enjoyment of a film. IMHO of course!

rachellenevin rachellenevin 12:12 pm 10 Apr 07

The ANU Film Group is a great alternative. $35 per semester gives you about 60 films held throughout the week. Films include recent & old ones & you can vote on/suggest films that are to be shown for semester 2. Rotary runs the lolly shop (10 redskins for $1!) and the crowd is fun.Check out the website:

bonfire bonfire 12:12 pm 10 Apr 07

cinema staff cannot legally stop you bringing in food from somewhere else.

its forbidden under the third force marketing provisions in ACCC legislation.

bonfire bonfire 12:10 pm 10 Apr 07

has greater union civic been upgraded ?

last time i went (2 years ago) they had the most uncomfortable cinema seats in canberra.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt VYBerlinaV8 now_with_added grunt 12:07 pm 10 Apr 07

In the US the internet was delivered via cable TV connectivity for quite a while.

Absent Diane Absent Diane 12:04 pm 10 Apr 07

I can see the internet and pay tv eventually merging to some extent.

schmerica_ schmerica_ 11:58 am 10 Apr 07

I already do…

bobbo123 bobbo123 11:54 am 10 Apr 07

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

People.. Cinemas aren’t some mystical wonderland in other cities..

In Sydney most of the biggies are about $15 a ticket and you usually have to get stabbed when you go to the George St Village complex.

A few years back all we had were the dodgey cosmo twins at woden, the greater union and civic, the urine smelling one at manuka and the good old, electic shadows..

Now, at least there’s some choice and most of them are easy to get to..

Prices are going up everywhere but box office numbers don’t appear to be dropping.

If you object to paying an extra $3 bucks for the big screen movies experience, stop whinging and just get your five for five weekly DVDs and a big box of homebrand cheese snacks and watch em at home…

schmerica_ schmerica_ 11:53 am 10 Apr 07

It’d be a good place for a nightclub – maybe a good competitor for Academy?

caf caf 11:50 am 10 Apr 07

Hoyts are still a small distributor, and Roadshow (part of Village Roadshow) are a major one.

johnboy johnboy 11:46 am 10 Apr 07

With all the apartments going up around civic? I’d say they think they can hang tough.

The real question is at what point is it worth more as a night club?

seepi seepi 11:43 am 10 Apr 07

I’m interested to see how long Greater Union civic hangs in with its 8 dollar tix.

West_Kambah_4eva West_Kambah_4eva 11:36 am 10 Apr 07

I do understand that cinemas make their money from choc tops… What I’m saying is that I’m opposed to high prices. Damn opposed!

May I diverge into “cinema” as concept for a second. I mean that in an film-student wanky type of way, ie that the audience is sharing a hallucination with no control over it. Essentially people are captive within a dream – a shared dream. Ok, wankery over. But it’s very serious wankery – because thats why film is such as essential artform – because of cinemas. It is fundamentally different in all the important ways to watch a film at home. It is the opposite of a cinema – you have control over the movie (ie the remote), you control the environment, and most importantly, you’re watching it comparatively alone. You’re not sharing the experience with the people in your society.

Now this is very simpistic I know, and I could expound on this for hours in detail, but my point is that I want and we need cinemas in the current form to survive – the one problem is that we need people to go to them, and they won’t when the cost in unreasonable.

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