I’ve worked in Odyssey Cinemas for several years now.
This week I’m going to be putting my many years of experience to good use by writing about the cinema.
I love the cinema-going experience but I’ve fallen out of love with movies recently and have been doing some thinking.
I’m going to write about the specific cinema I work for in this post and then I’ll be writing about how you can get a better cinema experience overall. Finally, I’ll write about where I see cinema heading and what that could mean for the multiplex.
Coming up in August will be my ten year anniversary for working in Odyssey cinemas. This place was supposed to be a stop gap, a means to make some money before going on holiday. Somehow I ended up staying.
I thought it would be good to give a shout out to the place that has given me money for the guts of a decade. The cinema has also given me the flexibility to make my own film, be in a band and mostly avoid the grind of a 9-5.
You should know that I’m biased. I’m not getting paid to do this nor has anyone asked me to write this article.
What follows is the five reasons that make my cinema the best in Belfast if not all Northern Ireland.
The list covers the good Odyssey Cinemas does from both a staff and customer perspective.
5: Odyssey Cinemas staff
This one is a reason for me, but it also translates over to you, the customer. I have been fortunate to work in a place that has always had sound staff.
Everyone gets on with everyone. There are occasional disagreements, but there’s a sense of camaraderie among us.
There is a particular kind of person who works in the cinema. They tend to be less money or career driven, that’s obvious. There is also a dislike of the 9-5 and that’s a prevalent attitude amongst us. We’ll take more freedom even if it means less money.
The place has seen it’s fair share of artists, musicians and actors over the years. You know, creative types. Could be that jobs with irregular hours have a tendency to attract irregular people.
As a customer how does that translate for you?
The service is more personalised. We engage with you more. I don’t know if there is such a thing as an emotional IQ test but if there is I would say Odyssey Cinemas staff would come out on top.
If you’re a regular, there is a rapport that builds with frequent visits. I know this because there are certain people who will come to me specifically and there are other customers who go to “their person”.
There are places that you frequent that leave you feeling like a stranger. That’s not the case at our site.
The staff at Odyssey cinemas do recognise you, what makes us different from other places is that we acknowledge it.
4: Our place is practically unheard off
The Odyssey Complex feels like it has been forgotten. The Complex was ahead of the times. The building sprang up in the middle of nowhere, an island on an island.
Only recently has the surrounding area started to catch up.
There is the Titanic Museum, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern Ireland. There’s also the Paint Hall studios where they film Game of Thrones. A university campus has located nearby and there are also apartment buildings.
What I’m saying is that the area is starting to fulfil it’s potential.
For many Belfastinians, there isn’t much reason to come to the area. Weekends are busy but the rest of the time it’s quite quiet.
This means that if you go any day from Monday to Thursday, there’s a high likely hood that you could have a screen for yourself. You can consider Odyssey Cinemas has two of the largest screens in the North. If you’re like and prefer going alone and not having to sit near anyone, it makes for a great cinema experience.
3: Tiered seating and the VIP
Seating is important to me when I go to the cinema. If I’m going to be sitting for two hours I don’t want my caboose to be needing a masseuse afterwards.
Odyssey Cinemas have the most comfortable seats out of all the greater Belfast area. If you try and tell me that the big screen at the QFT has better seats your wrong, not enough leg room, especially for a lank such as myself.
Odyssey Cinemas also has is tiered seating which is a significant benefit.
I know that no matter where I sit in the screen I’m not going to have to worry about having my view obstructed. Even though I’m a tall guy no one is going to lean over to me and tell me to move my head out of the way.
Odyssey Cinemas also has VIP screens. Honestly, these aren’t for me as all I need is a comfortable seat to watch a film.
The VIP screens are popular and frequently sell out. Odyssey cinemas has three VIP screens. Forty seats per screen. Leather recliner, small drink, popcorn, car parking paid and a hot drink per ticket. At £17 for a ticket (£15 with members) you might think it a bit pricey but when you consider everything included, it’s actually great value. You also can upgrade your snacks.
Again, not for me but there are people who love it so much they don’t even care what film they watch.
2: You don’t have to spend that much money
There is a stereotype that cinemas are expensive. This is true to an extent, but if you’re smart, you don’t need to spend that much money, especially in Odyssey Cinemas.
We have a discount card that no other cinema in the North does. You can save on cinema tickets and if you come on a Monday or Thursday tickets are only £3.
If you are smart with your purchases, you don’t need to spend that much money.
1: The point system
As well as discounted tickets there’s our point system. 10% back on every purchase in the form of points. Staff can’t use them but for customers it’s great, and many people are taking action.
Recently there were people with as many as 4000 points, that’s the equivalent of £40.
I don’t know what they are waiting to spend them on, but the points quickly add up.
If you never heard of any of these features before I hope you found them helpful.
If you do decide to come along make sure to sign up an Xtra account.
Hope you found this informative.
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