Independent cinema, Phoenix does it best.

(This post is part of a coursework assignment)

Fed up of going to the cinema?

Now is the time to ditch the massive multiplex you visit to get your monthly film fix, it’s time to go independent. A recent visit to the Phoenix cinema in Leicester started me thinking about how impersonal and expensive a trip to a large chain cinema can be. You queue for your tickets, pay for your tickets, decide whether to purchase any of the highly overpriced snacks and go and find your screen. After the film finishes, you stand up and almost in a herd like fashion, make your way out of the cinema. No one talks to each other, it’s almost robotic.

The Phoenix cinema attempts to change all that. Upon entering you’ll find the ticket desk ahead and the café bar to the side. Finally you can make the trip social – sit down, have a drink or something to eat before the film (some cinemas don’t even have seats before you get to the screen!). On this occasion I opted for a hot chocolate, and I’m glad I did.

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I watched as my drink was topped off with lots of cream, and scoop after scoop of marshmallows were thrown on top; a giant chocolate button and a sprinkling of chocolate powder finished it off. You don’t get a drink this good in any of the large chain coffee shops, let alone a cinema!

Phoenix allows you to get to know people over a drink before the film (which you can take in to the screen with you), when you come out you can go back to the bar and discuss what you’ve just seen – the social side of cinema is back. Try and make a night of it, not just a fly by visit, it’s worth it.