Saturday, July 07, 2012
15


Well the weekend's over and here we are back to work again. Unless you are a banker, seems so silly this split weekend.

I went to the City Cinema in the MGM twice over the weekend, once to a regular screening and once to the VIP screening to check out the newest cinema in the Sultanate. I discovered that prices for the weekend actually jump 500 bz, so it is RO 3.5 (or 4.5 for a 3D film) for the cinema. The VIP price remains unchanged, at RO 10.000.

The cinema has both Coke and Pepsi fountain machines, which I found odd, but perhaps the Shatti cinema has that too, I have never noticed before. Nachos, popcorn, ice cream, juices, slushies and all the rest of the usual cinema fare is on offer here. 2 large sodas, small popcorn, nachos & a candy bar came to RO 3.900 when ordered in the VIP cinema - I've no idea whether that is with a mark-up in price or not.

The regular cinemas have nice comfortable seating and cup holders and all the usual bits you'd expect. I went to Screen 2 which was the smaller of the 2 regular cinemas, and felt the screen was a little small, but the sound was great (no popping/cracking or dropped sound like I've experienced occasionally in Shatti). The screen wasn't really small, just.... not as big as I was expecting, but it is also a smaller auditorium than most cinema's I've been in.

Now, yesterday I went to see the new Spiderman movie in the VIP cinema, and here's my experience.....

The cost, RO 10.000 ($26) is not much more than a regular 3D ticket in Toronto, which is about $17 including the taxes - so about $9 more here, and you have the "VIP" experience to boot. Having seen it advertised at the start of regular screenings in City Cinema, I knew that there was a waiter service inside the cinema and so opted to try that out (and not buy anything at the concessions outside). The screen was about the same size as the one in Cinema 2 - not massive, but big enough to get that cinema feeling.

There are 4 rows of 6 seats each, with a small table between every 2 seats, with cup holders in the table. Personally I didn't like that the cup holders were alinged the way they are - if you put your soda in the first hole, then the person next to you has to put theirs further away from them, meaning they actually have to sit forward to reach their drink. Nothing major but just a niggle.

Another niggle was that the waiter service did not start until the film was basically about ready to start. There is a waitress that walks around (ok she more sort of ducks to avoid getting in the way) and hands you a clip-board with a little light on it with a menu... which does not have the regular concession stuff on it, just fancy snacks, ranging in price from about RO 1.5 to RO 4 (or there abouts). So, you are sat there in the lovely leather over-stuffed lazy-boy style chairs (with electronic recliners in them!) and you have a clipboard and no where to put it. Each chair has a button you can push to page a waitress to come and take your order. We ordered the stuff I mentioned above and they brought it to us about 10 minutes later - and said they would deal with payment later on. Which they did... about 15 minutes before the film ended (and the film was in the middle of an epic fight).

In summary, I'll definitely pay for the VIP cinema again, primarily because it was so comfortable, not what I'd call outrageously priced, and NO ONE TALKED during the film, which was worth the extra five and a half rials on it's own in my mind. I usually go to the cinema here at least twice a month, sometimes more, I don't think I'll go to VIP for every film I want to watch, but certainly I'll be going again, although next time I'll bring in my own soda and popcorn and decline the offer of the clipboard (which sat on my lap the entire film). It'd help if they had the waiter service started way sooner so you can get all the ordering and payment issues dealt with before the film starts. The seat was so comfortable I was tempted to have a little nap (Spiderman was a little boring in places I found) and the simple pleasure of watching a movie without hearing so many people talking throughout was worth it to me. All in all a great time, just buy your own snacks at the concession outside in order to save yourself a little hassle.

The website is now updated and you can order your tickets through the website for both regular and VIP. And yes they are still charging the 200bz fee per ticket, which I think is ridiculous.

le fin

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh for me it was a nightmare and spoilt my weekend completely,, we went for the evening show for spiderman movie and the electrcity was otu , we were without a/c for a while came out for fresh air and the 6:15 show started @ 6:45 ,,, 10 mts to the moie and again no power.. it was horrible and then a security guard came in saying they will refund the money back a hug line outside the counter and we got our money back... its utterly mismanaged and as usual muscat does it wrong again .. they need to learn and have back up plans for this kind of situation... they ruined my weekend completely...

Anonymous said...

Anon, does your weekend rely on the cinema experience that much? Get a life!

Anonymous said...

It's good to have such a new offering. Congrats! But, you show up at the cinema and in order to figure out what's on show you have to walk up to the box office to ask the lady behind the glass to slip you out a printed page on today's program. Oh no..you can't take it with you, it's theirs. You have to consult it and decide on the spot what you want to see. Or memorize, go back to your buddies and recite them what you have just learned.
Some printed flyer on stands all over the lobby would certainly solve this one...

Anonymous said...

The 200bz charge for online booking is abysmal. One would think that it would in the cinema's interest to maximize the sale of tickets online to reduce the number of transactions/ crowding at the box office. Have communicated with the cinema in this regard and was told that bank was charging the fee. Surely the cinema and bank get come together and get rid of the fee.

Anonymous said...

its 200bz per ticket, regardless of the value of the ticket you purchase. Bank Muscat are their credit card clearing company and there is simply no way that the deal would be 200bz per ticket. At the very MOST it should be 200bz per transaction.

This is a classic case of management screwing their customers plain and simple. Besides, 200bz on a RO 3.000 ticket is nearly 6.7% - no way a CC clearing company could get away with charging this. Besides, dont we have consumer protection laws here? If the advertised price is not the price you pay, then surely this should be investigated?

Also, Al Bahja Cinema is RO 2.5 a ticket for a regular movie.... just sayin..

Anonymous said...

This seems to be very interesting as its a new concept in Muscat, But if you go to see its a very old style of Cinema across the globe. Even in Mumbai cinemas like PVR or Fame offer you the same So called "VIP" expeirence in the Gold Class Cinemas; And they are way cheaper than what they are priced at in Muscat. So its good for this difference in Cinemas but way too expensive for it to click.

Anonymous said...

we should just hope another group of cinemas start here! These guys are just ripping people off with their nonsense!

I prefer driving till Bahja and watching a movie than going to any city cinema!

Anonymous said...

200bz would make sense if it was per transaction, but to keep it per ticket is unreasonable..
Also noticed, a 3D English movie at Ruwi CC will be 3/- while the same movie at Shatti would be 4/-

developar said...

Ok, first of all why the hell everybody is commenting anonymously? what's going on? we aren't talking some politics or something?

Anyhow, I wanted to add that it's no way the fees are because of the credit card or BankMuscat. It is simply the ITA has some yearly fees on anyone who would like to use an e-payment mechanism. So it's kinda the cinema's owner want to make that up in my opinion, which is clearly ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

The poster in shatti of the new VIP cinema shows a couple enjoying a bottle of Moët whilst watching the film. I guess this is not actually possible? :)

EfB said...

I wouldn't mind paying the fee per transaction. But the fee per ticket is stupid. Again since people much prefer booking online and there is no competition that encourages free booking - we are stuck!

Anonymous said...

Shylumax says

What ever other people saying about the movie experiences or the facility itself, i just want to thank you Sythe n MM for blogging about the new movie and what you saw n experienced there!! I am new to Muscat, from Toronto, so finding things do is difficult, as ppl like blogging about life in Muscat..great!! thanks again. and about the VIP movies ...yes it is damn expensive to just have a big comfy seat and a useless waiter service. In Phoenix Arizona they have similar AMC theaters and they sooo good..priced only 14$ and food menu was also good.!! its is high priced for any better experience.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Sythe could kindly take the trouble of bringing the comments being made here to the attention of folks that be at City Cinema. Doubt if they are bothered to read them on their own or react to them. Tried to get coffee at the refreshment counter but it was not available unlike at Shatti where Dunkin' at least provides coffee of sorts. Quick walk to Caribou to get coffee only to be bounced at the theatre door that no outside catering allowed into the theatre. Da!!

Sythe said...

Already brought to their attention, no idea if they will react though.

;)

alvinemman said...

Yep, a lot of people are unhappy, with the new theater up at Grand Mall...

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