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Why we love…Studio Cinema

Written by on 12/04/2018

Why We Love… is a new series where we discuss films, games, TV shows that we love. Simple really.

If you’ve listened to the Geek Speak show (Wednesday’s @6pm) then you know that we like a good argument over, basically everything. However there is one thing that all three presenters agree on – we all love Studio Cinema in Dunoon. So we thought before we started arguing again we’d celebrate our mutual appreciation and use it to kick-start this series of blogs.

Why We Love…Studio Cinema by Andy F (English Andy)

When I moved out to Dunoon I remember driving past the cinema and not realising it was a cinema. It’s an odd-looking building, isn’t it? It looks like it could be a warehouse or indoor market (ps Dunoon needs an indoor market) and when friends and family come and visit they remark about how funny the cinema looks from the outside. Some are shocked that we even have a cinema at all. Some are even more shocked when I say not only do we have a cinema but it’s one of the best cinemas I’ve ever been to…

I’ve been obsessed by film for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a rather rural part of Shropshire my nearest cinema was The Majestic in the town of Bridgnorth. Small, friendly and showing a good range of films, The Majestic was a great little cinema. It had chunky blue seats, very sweet popcorn, two screens with the name of the film showing written on a chalkboard outside the doors and really friendly staff.

When I got older an Odeon cinema opened up in Telford and it was big, shiny and had amazing nachos. Seriously, these nachos were something special. I saw Jurassic Park there three times, Home Alone twice in a day (my dad had been told to look after us for the day and this was a good way of keeping us quiet for nearly four hours) and my mom got stopped and told off for trying to take me into Hot Shots Part Deux when I was clearly under 12. I have many fond memories of it but I can’t remember what the cinema looked like, or what the staff was like. It probably looks like every other Odeon cinema. It was big screens and that was about it.

When I moved to Edinburgh 15 years ago we had three cinemas we could easily get to. Cineworld had the most films on, The Filmhouse played the most eclectic mix of films and my personal favourite The Cameo let you take beer into the cinema. The Filmhouse held the Edinburgh film festival and whilst being a fantastic cinema it felt a bit too serious. The Cameo was like the bad boy of the gang. Fun, quirky and run by people really passionate about films. Film geeks – my kind of people! To get an idea of what The Cameo is like here are some examples…they once played Groundhog Day back to back and it once played the extended versions of Lord of the Rings all in a row and encouraged people to dress up as characters and bring pillows and blankets with them. It was fun because it wanted to be and was allowed to be. The Cameo is still going strong and I hope it continues to do for many many years.

So now I’m in Dunoon and I can finally start talking about Studio Cinema. Let’s make a few things clear or else you’re going to start thinking I’ve gone mad – Dunoon cinema does not have massive screens, it doesn’t have the latest 360 degree audio, it doesn’t have leather recliners, it’s not a luxurious cinema and I know that you know that, everyone knows that. It is, however, blooming brilliant and it’s all down to one thing – the staff. Recently I’ve been to Studio Cinema a number of times over a short period and each and every time I’m there I speak to the staff and they are what makes it. They helped me up the stairs with my pram, they chatted to me about upcoming films we’re excited by, they even talked about what films were performing well and what was performing not so well because this stuff interests me and I asked them. They all seem excited by film, they all want the cinema to do well. I want the cinema to do well, and you should too.

Studio Cinema is the place my son watched his first film on the big screen. As a geeky dad that will be something, I’ll always remember. I’ll remember him being amazed by the big screen. I’ll remember him laughing whilst watching Pinocchio. I won’t remember that the bulb blew half way through but I will remember the staff being kind and helping me pack up my stuff and helping me move into the second screen (don’t worry the bulb was replaced within 24 hours).

Am I being a bit sentimental? Probably but in this day and age of massive corporations and chains running the cinemas with all their gloss and utter lack of soul, it’s really nice to have a small, local cinema that plays a great range of films at affordable prices with staff who love the place. We should all appreciate that we have a cinema in the town, I know I do.

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