Visiting the cinema is an expensive treat these day, especially for a family wanting to view the latest blockbuster release.
As a family of four, our last trip to see a recent release, Disney’s Frozen, would have cost £37.00 NOT including a visit to the concessions stand had we not been donated a pair of vouchers allowing the kids to go free with paying adults. Again without a visit to the concessions stand I still had to stump up £27.00. Ouch!
There is another way though. Some time ago we discovered that many cinema’s in our local area offer a Kids Club. On one or both weekend mornings you can visit you local multiplex or theatre and watch a kids film for considerably less. And I really do mean considerably less.
Anyone that listens to The Unheard Nerd Movie Podcast hosted by John and I will know that my cinema of choice here in London is the Greenwich Picturehouse. Although the picturehouse group is owned by multiplex giants Cineworld, they maintain an independent feel offering a usually more mature and refined experience. My wife and I enjoy a visit to the bar and the freedom to bring out drinks into the theatre of an evening where comfy seats in medium sized screens are the order of the day. However, come Saturday morning you can rock up and enjoy a kids film for as little as £1 each (yes even for accompanying adults) if you pay a £4 annual membership for each child. Not a member? That’ll be £3 then. Add in parking and I’m paying £8 for a trip to the movies with my two girls for some Daddy time.
The Odeon multiplex in nearby Surrey Quays offers a similar experience. Ticket prices are a touch higher at £3 each but no membership is required and parking is free. Still a massive saving on the £37 a visit could cost.
What’s the catch? Well, you’re not getting to see the latest releases for that kind of money, but… at the Odeon you’ll usually get to see a movie that’s been out in the last six months. On recent trips we’ve caught Turbo and Justin and The Knights Of Valour. The Picturehouse mixes things up a little. We caught Monsters University only a month or two after it’s general release, but sometimes you’ll find they show the first film if a sequel is due out, or there might be a short animated film festival, a classic such as The Jungle Book. In addition they lay on tables with pictures to colour to keep the little ones amused prior to the show.
Do the kids mind that they’re not seeing the latest films? Not at all, in fact after watching The Jungle Book recently my eldest asked if we could get it on DVD when it comes out, the classics are timeless.
Is there a down side? Some showings can be a little raucous at times, especially when little attendees try to climb the screen, but on the whole the children are very well behaved.
Dads, Kids Club is a great way to spend time with your little ones that doesn’t take a whole heap of effort. You get to watch the movies you know you love but wouldn’t usually visit the big screen to see and then you get to discuss the film after.
Check your local cinema’s listings and find out if you have a kids club too.