I'm a freelance writer who has just moved to the West Midlands.
Published September 11th 2012
Making good films great
Apollo Cinema, Royal Leamington Spa is a stone's throw away from the Parade, tucked away along Portland Place. Parking is limited in this area so it's worth arriving early or being prepared for a stroll.
On entering the building, the smell of freshly made popcorn drifts through the foyer creating a cosy atmosphere and a warm welcome. The ticket booth and snack counter are positioned only a few metres apart on either side of the lobby. This compact arrangement combined with friendly and very helpful staff offers a refreshing alternative to the often corporate feel now associated with a trip to the cinema.
Ticket prices range from £7.70-£9.20 per adult (as of September 2012) depending if you'd like more seat space with the Premier option. Consider visiting on a Tuesday if you're strapped as this is Saver Day at Apollo Cinemas and the price drops to £4.90 per adult for a standard seat. They also participate in 'Orange Wednesdays', so don't forget your phone if you're a customer. For a full list of prices and to pre-book tickets in advance visit the website, but be aware of the 70p booking fee if you do decide to purchase online.
A selection of food and sugary drinks are available for your convenience but watch out for marked up prices – it cost just over £7 for a packet of Doritos, a pot of salsa and a large iced drink. Don't forget the Costa coffee shop on the other side of the ticket barrier which offers another treat option to enjoy during your film.
There are several screens meaning lots of viewing possibilities. Alongside commercial blockbusters they also show 3D movies, documentaries and cultural pictures such as 'Swan Lake live from the Opera House'. Once again, it's worth visiting the website for full information.
The sense of independent cinema continues in the auditorium where rows of seats are positioned in a somewhat flatter layout than expected. However, the chairs are like armchairs and viewing is a very comfortable experience even if the air con is a little low. Delivery of films in terms of audio and visual is great and it takes minutes to be completely immersed in the story unfolding in front of you.
Visiting the cinema has become a rarity for many in recent years. Easy access to internet streaming, movie channels and DVDs a plenty has meant that the cost of a trip to the cinema seems even more of an extravagant luxury especially as times are tight.
This Apollo cinema reminds us that, although expensive, nothing quite beats watching a film on the big screen. This particular venue restores the romance of bygone cinema-going whilst delivering an enjoyable modern day film-viewing experience.