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Showcase Cinema (Wokingham)
Member Name: GuruOnAMountain
Showcase Cinema (Wokingham)
Date: 29/12/04, updated on 18/02/05 (2186 review reads)
Advantages: Good choice of films., Lots of parking., Lots of choice of snacks.
Disadvantages: Staff tend to be unfriendly., Hard to get to.
I'm a regular cinema-goer, and until only a few years ago, my nearest cinema was a Showcase Cinema, which was about a 20 minute drive from where I lived. Over the years I found myself there a lot, although since a new cinema has been built closer to me, I tend to avoid the Showcase.
The Showcase nearest me (Glasgow East) is not easy to get to as it is essentially built on the middle of a motorway. You certainly couldn't walk there due to its location and would have to drive or get public transport, and I'm not even certain that public transport runs into the cinema complex. Admittedly, it is surrounded by a number of fast food outlets and a bowling arcade, so I suppose they make a visit to this place more worth your while. However, I don't drive, and so a visit to it is usually out the question for me even if I did live nearer to it.
There is plenty of parking, though, and it is free of charge, so if you do manage to get yourself here, that aspect will certainly not pose a problem for you.
Like most modern cinemas, it is a large multiplex, so you've generally got plenty of choice. In fact, this is probably the most positive feature of this cinema, as it usually schedules films very well, so you have a good choice of films on show at all times, whereas some other cinemas tend to have films shown in clumps eg. nothing decent on for hours and then all the decent films showing at one time.
However, the staff here are fairly rubbish. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't usually expect a great deal from cinema staff. In my experience, most cinemas employ mainly spotty, young teenagers who are apathetic at best about working, but the people at my local Showcase can often be downright rude. I've been to this cinema on many occassions, but have only ever had a positive experience with staff on a handful of occassions, which is a shame, 'cause I find when the staff here are friendly they're REALLY friendly, but most of the time you feel like you're just inconveniencing them. My friends and I all hate it when we ask for student tickets to see a film and they ask to see your matriculation card. They always seem to say it in an unpleasant manner, instead of just asking politely. I've also been ignored while waiting to buy sweets on more than one occassion, and on my most recent visit watched an overbearing boss shouting at quite a few seperate employees right in the middle of the foyer where customers were present.
The cinema foyer itself, though, is much larger than most other cinemas and even has its own arcade. The food counter is along the middle of the foyer with ticket desks at either end, and I must admit, the choice of food is always impressive. Not only do they have the usual sweets on sale, but they have hot food such as pizza and chips, frozen yoghurt, pick and mix etc. Of course, like most cinemas, the food doesn't come particularly cheap.
Ticket prices are fairly average. A student ticket costs £4, which is the same as VUE cinemas, slightly more expensive than UGC and cheaper than UCI.
Tunnels leading off to the right and the left contain the cinemas. The toilets are also found here, but are beyond the ticket collector, so if you don't have a ticket it seems like you may just have to cross your legs! Electronic boards are on display outside both 'tunnels' with the films being screened in each one, so you know where you're heading. There are also further sweetie booths inside these tunnels, but they are rarely staffed.
The cinemas themselves are fairly average. They are relatively comfortable, but nothing particularly special as far as cinemas go. The same goes for the screens and the sound system. The cinemas are always clean, in my experience, and although I've never experienced any trouble from noisy teenagers or anything in these cinemas, I imagine the problem would be dealt with quickly by the staff if you needed to seek them out.
All in all Showcase Cinemas have a lot of potential, but the staff tend to put me off going there. They generally seem like a rather unpleasant bunch of people who only take pleasure in snarling at customers and shouting at lower ranked employees. Of course, I can only speak for the cinema near me. However, the cinemas are nice enough and there's always plenty of choice with the films, but the location is a bit off-putting, too.
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