Yes, I’m back! And I have another review for you. This time, given we’re in summer holidays full swing, I thought I’d tell you about a little trip I took with the kids to The Phoenix, our local independent cinema.
The cinema for me is a win/win with the kids whatever the weather. When it’s super hot, the air con is a welcome relief. When it’s cold and rainy it’s a great place to shelter. And the volume in cinemas means any warblings from the youngest Bell Boy are pretty much unnoticed by other punters. I love it.
But I don’t like the price. I find the cost of the tickets alone, for us all to go and see a children’s film, extortionate. And I can’t handle the financial abuse when buying snacks. So yes, I’m that mother who smuggles in entire packed lunches, drinks and even a flask of coffee. I refuse to pay £4 for a Fruit Shoot, Bear Yo Yo and a handful of popcorn. I know mark up is inevitable, but the large cinemas near me are pretty much empty in the week and I think it’s obvious why.
In steps The Phoenix, which I have reviewed before from an adults night out perspective (that is not meant to sound in any way dodgy, it’s not that kind of establishment). The Phoenix put on all the usual kids films (we went to see Cars 3) and charge £7.50 for a ticket, popcorn and an apple or orange juice. (Proper stuff, not the cordial variety). There’s parking right outside, there’s lots of room inside to race about like mad things before the film, the staff smile and are friendly (there’s no option to buy your tickets from a machine thank goodness) and there’s a bar. Yes, a bar. And coffee. I chose coffee this time but I might well go for wine next time if needs be.
We had a lovely time watching Cars 3 (quite emotional in parts I’d say) and snaffled popcorn, juice, coffee, sweets and chocolate. We don’t like to do things by halves.
Then we did some colouring and played some games (from the Kids Corner) whilst waiting for our food. I’ve told folks on Instagram before about the great value food – but here we go in case you haven’t seen it. £4 buys you a hot kids meal and a drink. Look:
And I had the halloumi salad which I think was £9 and my pal had the mini breakfast (helpfully served until 5pm) which was anything but little and priced at £5.50.
Pudding was ice cream (again reasonably priced – all under £2) and a delightful lemon and cinnamon drizzle which my 6 year old ate so fast I barely got a look in.
(Max is an icing rejector – though I can vouch for the icing being very nice indeed).
I really do love The Phoenix. It’s very good at what it does. They show a great mix of blockbusters with art house with vintage films from yesteryear. And the odd exhibition or installation too. What would I improve? Maybe some puddings other than cake and ice cream. Maybe an option other than popcorn for my popcorn rejecting son. (Actually – this is unfair given he doesn’t like chocolate either – I clearly did not eat enough junk food when pregnant).
Oh I should also mention they sell excellent gifts and lovely cards made by local artists:
Thanks to The Phoenix for entertaining my 3 little sidekicks. We received complimentary tickets, food and drink in return for an honest review.
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