“ Address: Compston Road / Ambleside / Cumbria / LA22 9AD / England / Tel: 015394 30465 „
Before we visited the Lake District everyone kept telling us how we had to go to Zeffirelli's cinema. I love going to the cinema so I wasn't going to argue with this and if it's the Lake Districts premier cinema it has to be good, doesn't it? You would think so, but it would seem the Lake District does not have a high standard when it comes to cinema's.
There are always disagreements when we go to the cinema as a family. We all like different types of films and we have to take into account that my sister is too young to see many of the films that we would like to see so usually a family trip to the cinema means that we go to see at least two different films! This occasion was no different. My parents wanted to see one film and we wanted to see another. Their film started a little while before ours but as Zeffirelli's is also a restaurant we thought it would be nice to go when they did and have a drink while we waited. We never had a proper meal in the restaurant so I can't comment fully but it was a very comfortable area, with big comfortable chairs and friendly staff. We ordered a garlic bread while we were waiting (we didn't want to ruin our appetite for popcorn by eating something too big) and it was huge! It was the size of a pizza and we couldn't eat it all. And it was only £3.25.
We then went to buy our tickets. You can't book tickets in advance which I found to be a little bit annoying but we didn't have any trouble getting seats any of the times we visited. When we went to buy the tickets we discovered that Zeffirelli's is actually on two sites and our film was showing at the other one. It isn't very far away so getting there isn't a problem but if you are going to visit this cinema you should check which site you are on to avoid stress and confusion.
With only four screens the number of films being shown at a time is quite limited and they don't have that many show times (at least not compared to the bigger cinemas) but somehow they seem to be able to squeeze in a lot of different films, certainly not the kind of choice that I'm used to but good enough for me.
We actually visited Zeffirelli's twice, once during the day and once in the evening and the price varied for both performances. During the day it cost £5 for an adult and £4 for a child. In the evening it cost £6 regardless of age. I actually think that this is quite expensive. I have been to cinema's in London that charge the same price for a much better experience. I think I would have been far more lenient if the price had reflected the quality of the cinema more but as it was I felt like I was paying premium price (okay, not exactly premium, it was nowhere near as expensive as the cinemas in central London) for a second rate cinema. The cost of food and drink was really reasonable though. Soft drinks cost £1.20 and popcorn cost £2.50. The staff were really friendly and helpful.
The actual cinema was a bit of a disappointment. The chairs were really comfortable. They had high backs and were so soft. I have never sat in a more comfortable cinema chair and that was lovely but there were no drink holders which made it awkward, especially being as clumsy as I am. The seating was all on one level which I hate. We tried to sit as close to the back as possible but it made little difference and I spent both performances feeling quite uncomfortable. During one performance a man who worked at the cinema kept walking in and out of the door at the back. As we were sat at the back he kept walking in front of us so that briefly the film would be blocked. This was incredibly annoying.
I remember going to the cinema for the first time when I was about four, we went to see the Little Mermaid (great film) and I remember how different the cinema was back then. Visiting this cinema was just like visiting a cinema in the 80s. I'm sure some people will think that's charming and if it sounds that way to you then I would recommend this cinema. However, if you prefer to watch films in comfort then I can't recommend this cinema.