Cinema: Odeon Luxe: Haymarket
Price range: £17.75 peak, £11.75 off peak (before 5pm on a weekday.) Free at any time with a Central London Limitless Membership, £19.99 a month.
I recently took advantage of a deal the Odeon were running to get 2 months free off a Limitless membership (the last 2 months of a 12 month contract, the cheeky fuckers) and upgraded myself to a shiny new Central London card, meaning I can now attend any Odeon cinema in the whole goddamn country for £19.99 a month. I know I talk about what a great deal this is constantly, but looking at the psychotic prices they charge for these London tickets I think you’ll agree I’m justified.
For my first new venture I headed to the Odeon Luxe: Haymarket, located a couple of minutes from Piccadilly Circus. I shoved my way through the 5pm crowds of tourists and arrived at the venue, which is quite oddly shoved down a couple of side streets next to the Harold Pinter theatre, and also some bins. I suddenly feel quite guilty about how much I slagged off The Barbican for being ugly. Oh, London!
This is as mentioned, an Odeon Luxe, the discovery of which was the best thing to happen to me in 2019. It means the seats are incredibly comfortable and have an automatic recline, so the mere touch of a button eases your feet up and your back down to the level you choose. You also get your own table including drink holder to pile up all your snacks on, which you’ll obviously be picking up in a Tesco Metro because did I mention £17.75 a ticket?
Oof. I did not like it here. The lobby that you enter into on arrival is about 5 square foot, meaning you’re jammed in with all the other sweaty people trying to queue for tickets and snacks (can only assume they’re millionaires or drug dealers). The automatic ticket machine was so awkward to get to I had to do about 15 increasingly high pitched ‘excusemecanIjustsqueezepast?‘ before I could make it close enough to print my ticket out.
On managing to shove my way through to the actual entrance to the screen, I was greeted by a rather sullen member of staff who demanded to see my limitless card, which has never ever happened to me before. Not quite as bad as having my bag searched last time, and I do understand they’re allowed to do this, but it did only add to my general feeling of irritation and flustered-ness.
Eventually, after grimacing my way up some tired stairs and a weird, Shining-esque corridor (who would want to sit here?) I found my screen, which was smaller than my living room. And I live in London, so I can basically put the oven on while flushing the toilet and watching Netflix. Adding to the great feeling of watching the movie on a 12″ TV was the fact that the seats are all really far away from the front…? Luckily I’d booked to sit in Row C, but there was a space in between Row A and the screen which was big enough for a 30 person dance troupe to do a interpretive performance about how weird this Odeon is in.
The film I was watching was fully booked and the audience was one of the worst I’d sat in for ages. The lovely couple next to me even managed to find time between chatting, texting and making out with each other to eat a huge packet of sushi each! Delicious! I wished them dead.
On top of all this, the toilet was inside the screen. Which meant that, I’m not even exaggerating, over half the people in attendance decided to use it. And the very strong smell of Odeon toilet (they all smell the same: I go to the odeon too much) was quite overbearing every time someone loudly stomped their way through the swinging door to empty their bladder. Not great.
My unbreakable bond with the Odeon means that I’ll probably give this another chance, but hopefully not in the toilet smelling sushi eating screen that has hurt me so badly here.