Alice-Azania Jarvis: Finally, a cheap movie date to look forward to

In The Red

So it seems I'm not alone in my disdain for all things Odeon. The popcorn munching, the soda slurping, the left-behind chewing gum, the overcrowding and overheating: they're complaints everyone else has too. Combine that with the astronomical (or thereabouts) ticket prices, and we're not movies number one fans. I did receive some readers' advice on dodging premium fares' though none of it terribly helpful given my particular circumstances (no offence, guys). Yes, I could age 35 years and receive a concession – though that might take some time (uh, probably around 35 years). Yes, I could leave London but then I'd have to leave my job, too and I definitely wouldn't be able to afford a trip to the movies. Midday movies aren't much better either. Despite all appearances to the contrary, my time is not my own. I have an office, a desk, and a boss to whom I must report daily. So, £13 tickets it is, at least for the foreseeable. That battle lost, I might be able to win another. If I have to fork out to get the latest on the Oscar nominations, perhaps I can get a little more for my money? Last week I mentioned heading up-market, to one of those posh red-wine-and-hummus picture houses that are dotted around town. This was a solution several of your heartily endorsed: so much more civilised, the reasoning goes, to have an exotic beer with your movie, and not much more expensive either.

Well, guess what? The PR lady of one such cinema got in contact. The Everyman, in Belsize Park, north London. As it turns out, ticket prices are more or less the same as Camden Odeon, making the margin for rip-off that much lower (AND they have leather seats). Anyway, they've invited me along to see what I think. Even better, it's free of charge. Just this once, mind; obviously the idea is that, if my little outing goes well, I'll start going regularly and they'll get all my movie money, but that doesn't matter. It's a nice gesture, and I intend to take them up on it. Tomorrow a friend and I will catch the tube north in order to watch Black Swan in all its torturous Oscar-nominated glory. Given that I'm saving £13, this might be the best-value film I've ever seen. Though before I go booking my next outing, let's just wait and see. From the sound of things, it can't be much worse than the Odeon.

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

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