News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Sunday, 4 May 2008

The Orpheus Experience

Given half a chance, I always prefer the Orpheus Cinema to any of the larger multiplexes.

Laying aside for a moment the romanticism of attending an older and smaller cinema, the simple fact is that it's a lot cheaper to view films at the Henleaze cinema than it is at one of its larger competitors.

Compare my visit on Saturday night, for instance, with the equivalent experience up the road at Vue Cribbs Causeway where I would have paid £27.70 compared with £18 at Orpheus to take my family of five. That's before buying the popcorn. On Mondays, single tickets at Orpheus are a mere £2.80.

The possibility of walking to the Orpheus is another attraction, though one which I must confess, I rarely take. Then there is the simple charm of turning up at the front desk, buying your ticket from one person, stepping one pace to the left to be relieved of your change by the person behind the sweet counter and then, also one step away, handing over your recently-purchased ticket to be torn in two by the usher as you step into the auditorium itself. I would bet that the Orpheus Cinema tickets hold a record for shortest distance traveled from point of sale to point of destruction - about six feet.

The cinema has what Prince Charles might call "a sense of proportion", nestled as it is above Waitrose on Northumbria Drive and containing only three smaller-than-average screens. It also has a reasonable selection of up to date films at affordable prices. In fact, I would describe it as the cinemagraphic equivalent of the Westbury farmers' market - local, seasonal and direct.

Boom, boom.

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