Soul-less VUE

Posted on Apr 17, 2007

Yesterday saw us at the VUE cinema in Garston to see “Mr. Bean’s Holiday”, the choice of a six year old for his birthday outing. The film was much as you would expect - slapstick comedy well executed with some nice touches. Either you like Bean or you don’t, it’s probably that simple.

Whilst standing around in the entrance hall I was struck at how badly it has been “made over”. It happened a while ago, perhaps as long as a couple of years, but I’d never really stood there and thought about it. In the past the entrance hall had a bunch of screens showing clips from current and upcoming films, posters, etc. There actually seemed to be some kind of atmosphere that was part of the whole “going to the cinema” experience.

Now the ceiling has been removed, so there’s a room between ten and fifteen metres high with nothing above but black painted walls, ceiling and air-conditioning equipment. All of the screens have been removed, as have most of the posters. The four sides of the room are:

  • The entrance, where there’s a box office which is almost always empty (with an A4 printed sign saying “Please buy tickets at the concession stand”),
  • A new coffee bar with ten tables or so,
  • The “pick and mix” range - around two hundred different types of sweets selected by kids at random until the box weighs enough to cause the parents to swear at the cost (4.50ukp in this instance),
  • The concession stand, which is where you buy drinks, popcorn, chocolate, etc.

Overall the whole place is exceptionally dingy and boring. There’s no sense of being anywhere special at all. Soul-less.