With increased competition from streaming services at home, the golden age of cinema, you may think, is long over. It’s more difficult to coax people out of the warmth and comfort of their own homes when they already have a relatively big screen at home.
A trip to the cinema should feel special, a treat even.
Odeon have recognised the issue and their answer is, Odeon Luxe. This is the experience going to the cinema should be.
As you make your way in through the front door you are greeted by the intoxicating smell of freshly popped popcorn. That is nothing unusual, any cinema smells of popcorn, right? Well yes, but this stuff IS freshly popped, you can see it happening. And that is just one detail that sets Odeon Luxe apart. It doesn’t just promise the premium cinema experience, it delivers on that promise.
It ticks all the boxes of what a modern day cinema should be. It has a Costa Coffee for when you head to an early showing and need that coffee boost instead of a hot dog and a Coke. It has a concession stand with all the usual favourites, that wonderful fresh popcorn, nachos with warm cheese sauce & hot dogs, but it also has waffle fries, which is a new one on me at the movies, but it totally works. They’re so tasty!
They have Coca-Cola Freestyle machines which can give out over one hundred varieties of soda. So much to choose from it’ll blow your mind.
If you’re paying a visit in the evening and fancy a more grown up experience, they have that covered too. Oscar’s Bar serves all the usual alcohol choices and also makes freshly baked and very tasty pizza. It saves going for a meal and then to see a movie, you can now eat your meal while watching the movie!
But hold on, what good is all of this if you go into the screen and you still have to put up with uncomfortable chairs and seat kickers? Thankfully, Odeon Luxe has 8 screens, all kitted out with luxurious leather reclining seats, individual tables to place your snacks on, and enough leg room that you’d have to be about 7 feet tall to get anywhere near the seat in front to kick it.
As I settled in, reclined my seat, and waited for the movie to start an nostalgic wave hit me. I was in the Odeon, a cinema chain that has always had emotional connections with me, I was anticipating the lights going down, the screen widening and the fanfare starting and I thought “this is it, this is what going to the pictures should feel like”.
The film itself, Kenneth Branagh’s re-imagining of Murder on the Orient Express, was really enjoyable. With an all star cast and a talented director/actor in Branagh, it had a vintage charm and feel whilst also a contemporary pace in the story telling. It didn’t feel laborious in the way some period films can, it whizzed along like the train itself. It had some flaws, Johnny Depp has the capacity to divide opinion like Marmite and some of the dialogue felt a bit forced from the other cast. Overall though, it was a solid 3 out of 5 for me.
I am thoroughly looking forward to my next trip to Odeon Luxe. There’s plenty to look forward to this Christmas including Paddington 2, Justice League and Star Wars Episode 8.
It’s our new favourite cinema and I highly recommend you visit and get the nostalgic experience for yourself.