“ Address: Palace Towers / Palace Grounds Road / Hamilton / ML3 6AD „
Vue is a nationwide cinema chain. My views are in respect of our local Vue cinema in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.
This particular cinema is in a prime location within Palace Grounds. There is parking outside (free for four hours but it does get busy) and most of the Hamilton buses service a bus stop just a few minutes walk from the cinema. There is a large Asda nearby and also Chiquitos and Frankie and Benny's restaurants on the doorstep. Access to the cinema is on the ground floor and there is both stairs and a disabled friendly lift to take you to the first floor.
This cinema has 9 screens and can hold a maximum of 1478 people. It is wheelchair friendly throughout including bays for wheelchair users at the front of the rows of seats. The cinema also offers Autism friendly showings for some films so they do cater for all. Screen one is a 3D screen with a large 437 capacity seating allowance. There is free wi-fi available in the cinema. This cinema makes use of Sony 4K digital images and Dolby 'profound sound'.
Ticket prices vary depending on when you visit the cinema. Off peak prices apply to showings midweek before 5pm. Peak prices apply after 5pm, at the weekend and on bank holidays. All prices can be found on www.myvue.com.
You can also purchase family tickets. Add ons include VIP seating (£1.25), 3D (from £1.50) and over 18 screenings (£1.05). Vue also offer kids screenings on a Saturday and Sunday morning (£1.75) and participate in Orange Wednesdays.
Vue in Hamilton offer several film showings through the day and you can view a week ahead on the website. Some films start around 10.30am but no earlier and the later showings are often shown as late as midnight so the cinema is opened late. Thankfully it is well lit outside. Vue normally has all the latest releases and it is recommended to book ahead to avoid disappointment. We turned up to watch Taken 2 a few days after it was released and it was sold out. At the moment, there are several daily showings of 'We're The Millers' and 'Elysium'. You also have the opportunity to watch 'Kick Ass 2' and 'The Smurfs 2'. Soon to be released films include the new One Direction film and 'You're Next'. Lots to choose from and something to appeal to all.
The cinema has undergone some recent renovations. Previously, they had a bar with comfortable seating area but this seems to have been blocked off now. The ticket machines are located on the ground floor but you can also buy tickets at the main counters. Personally, I wish they had a seperate counter for ticket sales as the queues can be quite long if you just want to get popcorn or vice versa.
Once you approach the first floor, you will discover a lot of rather expensive food and drink on offer. There is a massive pic n mix display, ice cream counter and several boards detailing the prices and combo deals that they offer. This cinema offers the usual cinema treats - hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, packets of sweets and various drinks. To give a rough idea of prices, they retail a bag of sweets (buttons for example) at over £4.00 but you can purchase them at a reduced price of £2.00 when you purchase a combo deal. The combos do offer a little extra saving but are still expensive for what you get!
There are quite a few toilets within the cinema including disabled toilets. The ladies toilets are clean and well stocked. I have never seen cause for concern regarding the cleanliness of the cinema and it is quite an attractive looking cinema - very state of the art but not to the same degree as the multi storey cinema in Glasgow (Cineworld). I have never experienced any issues with the heating or air conditioning. The staff are efficient and friendly but quite strict (and rightly so) regarding age limits.
I love going to the cinema and as this is our local cinema, we generally go here to see films. The only exception to this is if my fiance and I are in the city as we then choose Cineworld. My son loves watching films too and we have taken him to this cinema a few times now. As far as I can remember, this cinema has been open since I was a teenager as I remember going as part of a group. It is worth noting that the staff can and will tell groups to pipe down if they become rowdy (as we experienced a few years ago).
Our most recent visit to this cinema was a few days ago. We took our five year old to see Thomas and Friends 'King of the Railway' which was a 10.30am showing on a Sunday morning (should be outlawed to be out that early on a Sunday except when going to church!). I booked our tickets online which was a simple task but we were charged a £2.25 booking fee. I paid by card and simply inserted my card into the machine for my tickets to be printed. We paid £4.50 each for this showing but after looking online, I am quite annoyed that this showing didn't qualify as a Kids AM showing - we really should have got it much cheaper in my opinion.
We normally arrive a little earlier anytime we go but we were quite disappointed to see that the seating area was no longer there. Thankfully it wasn't overly busy when we arrived so we didn't have a long wait to get our snacks. I'm sure a lot of people do it and I'm not ashamed to admit that I bought a bag of Cadbury buttons to take in with me - I wasn't paying over four quid for something I could get from Asda for £1.00. I think they are okay about you taking your own stuff providing you aren't taking big bags in to the cinema. We did buy a combo of a large drink and a hot dog (£7.50 ish) and also a Kids AM deal of small sweet popcorn and a Fruit Shoot. I believe the total came to £9.50. The diet Coke was very weak flavoured and the popcorn had very little sweet flavour to. There is a good selection of food on offer but you don't get much for your money. The hot dog was nice enough.
We chose our own seats when we booked. On this visit, we were in Screen 2 which is quite near the main foyer so not far for little legs to walk. The cinema offers tiered seating and we chose row D which wasn't quite half way up. We got a perfect view of the screen from here but in general, I haven't really ever had a bad view from anywhere in the room. I found the seats to be comfortable and the aisles/rows to be spacious. There was no issues with any heads blocking the way and despite this being a kids showing, everyone was very well behaved. The sound was as loud as it needed to be but not deafening and the actual film was bright in colour and no issues with the screen at all. My son really enjoyed the film and at 1.5hours, it was just the right length for him. We have been to another Kids showing before (Postman Pat) and there was major issues at the start with the film cutting out. They didn't handle it very well as the children were impatient and we got no information. Thankfully, the issue was resolved eventually.
I have experience of most of the screens in this cinema. I have previously made use of the VIP seats which are leather and very spacious. They are worth paying that little extra for especially if your film is lengthy. I have been to see many films over the past few years including The Wolfman, The Unborn, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more. The picture and sound quality is excellent and you get really in to the film. If a film is over a certain length of time, they do offer a break part of the way through which is excellent and ideal for nipping to the toilet. Aside from the Postman Pat incident, any visits to the cinema have been smooth and hassle free.
Films generally have a few trailers and adverts at the beginning. I was a little confused as to why they had a trailer for a car on a Kids showing but I suppose it is to attract the parents. On the most part, the trailers do relate to the type of film that is coming on and are designed to appeal to the intended audience. I enjoy watching the trailers as I always discover a future release that I may wish to come and see.
A trip to the cinema certainly isn't cheap now. We like to go as an occasional treat but if you are paying for tickets and then snacks, it quickly mounts up. Whilst I much prefer the Cineworld complex in Glasgow (more screens and more regular showings), this Vue cinema is a worthy addition to Hamilton in my opinion. It is expensive but worthy of a visit. I like to go here on a date night with my fiance after a meal and make a night of it.
Thanks for reading :)