“ Address: Thanet / Kent / CT12 5GR / England „
A vue cinema has recently opened up in a new shopping complex near myself and my work place, in Westwood cross in Thanet. It is the first one in the local area, but I have visited one before, in the Bristol/ Bath area, which I was quite impressed with. Vue had contacted the company I work for and offered a discount if we took along our staff passes, which was the extra incentive we needed to try it out, interestingly enough when we got there none of the staff actually knew about the discount, but that was besides the point!
The cinema complex is large and imposing from the outside. As you enter it follows the standard format. Over to the left is a long bank of tills where you can buy your tickets, and some food and snacks. If you have pre booked your tickets you can get them out of a machine by inserting your card, which is great as there is less of a queue.
There are plenty of screens, the numbers go into two digits, so there is always plenty to see at a time to suit you, and as they are a big complex with lots of money they get all the newest films in soonish.
There is a wide variety of snacks to purchase. There are pick and mix sweets, prepacked sweets and chocolate, popcorn, hot dogs and nachos. All of which are vastly over priced. The tickets are also the most expensive of any cinema in the area. In the local area there are no new modern cinemas, so Vue patched up a hole in the market, and therefore they seem able to get away with charging excessive amounts, making a trip to the cinema very expensive, but why wouldn't they when tons of people are there every single night?!
My wife recently treated me to dinner and the cinema and to make a change, we went to Vue in Westwood Cross, Kent.
It always amazes me when I walk into a cinema. No matter which one you go in, they are pretty much the same design. If all the adverts were taken down and you walked in blindfolded, after opening the eyes, you would have no trouble guessing the place was a cinema. The only major difference I could find with Vue was where you purchased the tickets. Normally, you have a ticket stand at one bit, get the tickets and then walk in to get get sweets, etc. At Vue, we purchased the tickets at the same place as you purchase sweets, etc. This made it exceptionally simple, as we got a drink and our tickets at the same time and saved us a extra queue.
What I liked about Vue was the Evolution screen. I have never seen or heard of this before, but it is a nicer screen than the normal ones. The Evo screen has sofas that seat 2 or 4 people, superior seats and bean bags. There are no normal seats in the screen. We chose a 2 seated sofa, purely for cost reasons. A 2 seater sofa during peak time cost us £10.70. 4 seater is near enough double that. Superior seating is £8.65 each and bean bags are £6.85 each.
Upon walking to the screen, outside they have a seating plan, with the rows all displayed and the seats numbered, so you know where to go once inside, instead of searching for your seats in the dark. Your seat is allocated with the ticket purchase. There was one flaw with this approach. It is a very simple and great idea, yet they had managed to get it wrong. The plan they had for the Evo screen was incorrect. It showed our row as being 2 from the rear, yet once inside, our row was actually the very rear row.
The bean bags in this screen are right at the very front, closer than the front row of seats in a normal screen, so I wouldn't recommend them. The superior seating is next and has a few rows. This seating looks very comfortable and I expect when we go again, we will go for them. Then the last rows are made up of the sofas, all mixed in together.
After finding our sofa, this is where the problem was. Expecting a lovely cushiony sofa, we instead got pretty much a bench, covered with a thick ish cushion. The seat bit itself was actually pretty comfortable, so I was surprised by that. The back of the sofa though is the main problem. It goes up nice and straight, good support for your back, but then at neck height it jutts significantly forward. This in turn pushes your forward of where it wants to be and makes it very uncomfortable. The only past this I found, being as I'm short and didn't have much choice, was to slouch down, putting strain on my back that it doesn't need or enjoy. The size of the sofa is very good. You could easily fit 4 people on the 2 seat sofa, probably 8 on the 4 seaters.
The seating area is around half the size of normal seating areas in other screens and due to the higher prices of the screen, you don't get all the younger generation who just bug me. The sound in here is incredibly loud and if you have sensitive ears, then I wouldn't recommend it.
I would recommend the screen if you enjoy the cinema, but would only recommend the superior seats. Ignore the rest and treat yourself.