'T' is for "Thrills" and "Theater" today in the A to Z Challenge, so here is a movie goer's perspective at the Hyland Cinema in London, Ontario that may be worth keeping in mind during your next trip to Canada. In this interview, Beverly from Blue Velvet Vincent shares her experience on everything from ticket prices to concessions during a recent visit to this movie theater to see "Kill the Irishman" starring Vincent D'Onofrio who currently sits on the King Dong throne at this blog.
Madlab Post: Describe the atmosphere at Hyland Cinema.
Blue Velvet Vincent(BLV): I tend to be on the nostalgic side so the atmosphere of The Hyland Cinema was intriguing to me. I wish I would have taken pictures to spark my exact memory. The Cinema has a small lobby, there was a long cast iron bench for resting while waiting for the previous show to end. I can imagine in days gone by what the lines must of been like because there was maybe standing room for about 20 people in the lobby itself.
One wall was covered in framed movie posters of coming attractions. There was a box of rolled up movie posters from movies of the past available for purchase. The proceeds would go to charity. The ceilings are low, with potted light that were dimly lit. We didn't end up buying concessions but there was plenty to chose from. They even offered Cappuccino's and flavored teas.
Once inside the theater, I was initially surprised by the size of it. It had two nice wide aisles that you could go down to chose your seat. We first chose a seat approximately in the middle of the theater but decided to move because someone sat right in front us. The seats sat rather low and I was staring at the back of somebody's head. Once moved and settled into our new spots I was quite content just to sit and look around. The seats were comfortable enough, high backs with enough back support. I didn't leave achy anyways.
The curtain was drawn in front of the screen which I thought was kind of neat. I had never actually seen that before and it was kind of thrilling to see them open again as the movie started. It added to excitement of seeing the movie. The theater offered surround sound. From what I understand it went under renovations 2001 with a new projections, sound system and screen.
The theater was actually very clean. The manager came in after the previous movie had ended and starting picking up garbage off the floors and seats while we took our seats. I get the impression the theater doesn't take in the big crowds like it did at one time. She was done picking up in no time.
MP: How was customer service at the Hyland Cinema?
BLV: The service was great. They were so accommodating. When my husband asked if there were any movie posters available from the movie we were going to see, within minutes I had the poster in my hands. It was great. She told me they are always shipped 3 or 4 posters per movie. The ticket prices are fair. I think we paid $9.00 each.
MP: What made you decide to visit the Hyland Cinema recently?
BLV: The only reason we went to the Hyland Theater was for the movie itself. I knew "Kill the Irishman" wasn't going to make it to my town so I was willing to drive the hour to see it there.
Nothing would stop me from going to the Hyland Theater again. I even tried to talk my husband into going to see the movie one more time before it was gone. No luck. Like I said, I like the atmosphere of the theater. It certainly was different than the Cineplex's that I'm used to but the small lobby and small concession stand was charming. The low counters of the concession stand made it more personal too. You bought your ticket and your concessions at the same counter. "Enjoy the movie" the attendant says. Nice!
Would I recommend the theater? Now I'm a small town girl and I found the area in which the theater was a little scary. Old part of town. But these are just first impressions. Sure I would recommend it. If you want to see the movie it's a fine theater to see it in.
MP: Why did your husband refer to Hyland Cinema as a place where Pee Wee Herman might show up?
BLV: My husband was just trying to be funny. He was teasing me because I would probably sit in the scuzziest of theaters if it meant I could see Vincent (D'Onofrio) on the big screen. There weren't that many people in the theater, 35 or so, so if you wanted to sit in back corner of the theater and get your "rocks off", chances are nobody would notice. He was referring to PeeWee Herman being arrested back in 1991 in an adult movie theater for indecent exposure.
MP: What was your worst movie theater experience ever?
BLV: I don't really have a worst movie experience. I'm actually easy to please. I might see maybe 7 or 8 movies a year. Although, once at the Odeon theater in my hometown of Sarnia we sat in front of a group of kids that blurted out the lines before the actors did. They had obviously seen the move several times. The theater was full so we either had to tell them to shut up, which is hard for me to do, put up with it, or leave. I'm not one to create a scene so I put up with it. That was quite a few years ago, today I wouldn't put up with it.
MP: Describe what your ideal movie theater would be like.
BLV: My ultimate movie theater would have to have recliners. Leg room, and elbow room is a plus with me. A coat check would be awesome. I'm always taking off my coat and throwing it on the seat beside me and there's always stuff falling out of my pockets on to the floor.
And why oh why do the concession have to be so friggin' expensive? If they don't want people sneaking in their treats why not offer cheaper concessions. It use to be that movie night use to be a cheap night out. Not anymore.
That's about it. The theater doesn't have to be extravagant, after all I'm coming to see the movie, not the theater. As long as I can walk away from it still feeling my toes, I'm happy.
Thanks to Beverly at Blue Velvet Vincent for doing this interview and I welcome those who have visited the Hyland Cinema AND those who have watched "Kill the Irishman" to share your thoughts and experiences with this theater and/or movie!
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