Whether you’re looking for a date night idea, somewhere to go with your mates or - the more likely option - a reason not to do that core reading you have set aside, the cinema is the place to go.
However, with multiple cinemas in Canterbury the question presents itself: which one to go to? Hopefully this guide will help answer that question.
The Odeon, as a classic, well-recognised brand, planted at the side of the roundabout around Whitefriars, seems the most obvious choice for a film night. Students attending the Canterbury Christ Church Union, or heading for a night at Glitterbomb will have likely walked straight past, and possibly queued up directly outside its front door. It is true that, at £6.75 a ticket, it represents the most cost-efficient option for students who have a loan to think about and rent to budget for, but the most compelling point about the Odeon and its two screens, is the feel of an old theatre which permeates Screen 1, as if one could step back in time and watch productions of classic films when they were new and freshly made. The comparative cosy aspect of Screen 2 takes nothing away from this sensation - if anything, it adds another ambience to a cinema already well-placed and well-priced. The food, whilst perhaps not the best, is nothing one wouldn’t expect from a chain branded cinema, and personally, nothing completes a film night quite like the fruity mix of a Tango Ice Blast.
Whilst not the biggest cinema in town Curzon arguably provides the most unique cinema in town. Located in the backstreets near Westgate Hall the Curzon provides options for those looking for mainstream films or the most independent and original content cinema has to offer. However, the charm of Curzon lies not only here but in the decor. As soon as you walk in you are aware you are in a place where the medium of cinema is truly appreciated with various classic movie posters adorning the walls and shelves filmed with film related books (and board games to while away you wait for the movie). Some may be wary of this cinema due to normal movie price being around the £10 mark even for those with a student card. However, if one invests in its free student membership online and goes at an off-peak time this price can be reduced to around £5-6 making Curzon a worthwhile and affordable experience if you are smart about it.
For those living on campus the Gulbenkian provides the most convenient cinema experience for UKC students. Located just behind the library the Gulbenkian presents the opportunity for the cinema experience right on campus and means you don’t have to worry about coming home from town late at night. Much like the Curzon, the Gulbenkian is known for putting on not just mainstream films but also those of more niche appeal. Furthermore, the Gulbenkian has various live acts such as Comedians and stage productions to offer which places like Odeon do not. However, something that one may find a downside to the Gulbenkian as most of its mainstream films are on well after they have been in other cinemas and are occasionally only on for a short run. However, despite this Gulbenkian provides a convenient option for the campus-living cinema goer.
Overall, for those looking for a movie night out in Canterbury the choice is very much there. Whilst none of these cinemas will let you down with regards to the movie going experience it is the opinion of these writers that the Curzon cinema is the way to go, for both the mainstream and niche releases, as long as you take advantage of the membership options on offer.