Monday, August 11, 2008

Mamma Mia Madness

I went to see Mamma Mia the other day. I'm not much of an Abba fan - in fact, I start wanting to gouge my heart out with a spoon after three songs, but I'd heard it was good and so thought I'd give it a go. What I didn't bargain on was it being sold out. It's been out a month! Granted, Oxford's got a lot of people and not many cinemas, but still - a month! I hate booking tickets on the phone because it takes so long to get through all the menus, and booking online is a hassle if you get a discount.

The Oxford Odeon's annoyed me for a while, mainly because of its silly opening hours. Fair enough, it's shut when there are no films on, but I always like to buy my tickets at lunchtime so I can eat dinner before popping over in the evening and avoid the horrible queue that's sometimes spilling out of the door. I hate looking like I'm fanatically queuing for a film. I swear I can sense everyone walking past thinking 'What a saddo, queuing for that long just to see a film. Sheesh, get a life...' So, given the impossibility of buying tickets in advance, I figured that seeing a film that's been out for ages would be no problem.

I was wrong.

I know it's not the cinema's fault that a film's so popular, but you'd think they could arrange a few extra showings. There's the wonderful Phoenix Cinema for artsy films, so no need to have them in the Odeon quite so often. There's also this wonderful thing called The Day Time, which people in Oxford seem to experience a lot more than the average. Most cinemas charge less during the day, but the Odeon could still make a hefty profit by showing films in the morning or more films in the early afternoon. There are enough students, tourists, and other people who don't necessarily work 9-5 to fill a few screens. And let's face it, the extortionate ticket prices in the evening more than make up the difference in cost.

And don't even get me started on the annoyance of having the listings for the George Street cineam in front of the Magdalen Street cinema, and the cramped area to buy food...

Still, problems aside, I eventually got to see Mamma Mia and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm now sat here, merrily singing along to the soundtrack in defiance of the rain and general gloominess of the British summer weather.

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