I wrote an article for BananaReel.ie on the alternatives to going to your regular cinema. Some cost money but are way more interesting than the cinema and others are movie clubs that are free to attend if you want to go on a date but are hit by that pesky recession (speaking of which, I am available for work if anyone needs anything 🙂 )
For generations, going to the cinema was one of the most popular activities in Ireland. Teenagers, families and couples of all ages went to see movies together to pass the time. Back in the day, when our parents were going on dates, the cinema was a very different place. An evening at the cinema would have multiple films, an intermission and “Orange Maid” ice pops brought in by the ushers.
Now, our movie experience has gotten very monotonous. You go in, you pay about €10 for a ticket, €10 for popcorn and a drink, watch the movie in old chairs and leave a couple of hours later with a full stomach and empty pockets. Could we be doomed to either go through this same routine every time or be forced to stay in?
Definitely not. There are plenty of different ways to get the cinema experience without going to the usual haunts. In fact, there are plenty of events that provide a better experience than the regular cinema trip. What’s more, a lot of them are free.
- The movie club in The Odeon on Harcourt Street hosts a cinema night every Thursday at 8pm during the summer. Entry is completely free; you just have to book early because places fill up fast. It gives you the opportunity to watch the classics in big comfy chairs with a full waiting service, where cocktails and tasting platters can be brought to your seat. Sci-fi season, all through June, saw great classics like Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey grace the screen at the Odeon. The Grand Social hosts a similar movie club every Tuesday night at 7:30pm. The Social Cinematic is also free in with college shorts played before each film.
- If you’re looking to take a trip to the cinema but you also want to meet new people, you can join the Dublin Movie Meet Up Club. This is great for mingling with other movie lovers but as it’s held in mainstream cinemas, normal ticket prices apply. It’s always great to meet new people and it will definitely give you a different experience. They usually meet up once or twice a month and go for a couple of drinks afterwards. It’s great for making a proper night of going to the movies and you can simply join up on Facebook.
- For a more old school, chilled out feeling while watching a movie, Ireland’s first ever drive-in movie theatre, Movie Junction, opened in November at Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork. First screenings? Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. It’s just like a regular cinema, but in your very own car. They ensure all cars are at a slant towards the screen so no car is in the way of another and a canopy to stop raindrops. Each parking bay also has a silent electrical heater for the car that prevents the windows from fogging up. You can also order whatever you want off their menu to be delivered directly to your car, including pizza, ice cream, sweets and of course, popcorn.
- The Irish Film Institute Family Festival takes place July 14-17. In Temple Bar, there’s a mixture of cultural film screenings and workshops for all budding filmmakers. It’s the perfect alternative to your run of the mill cinema and prices to the events are relatively cheap too
So don’t just settle for the regular mundane cinema trip; there are plenty of other experiences on offer.