Well, even I wouldn’t trek to the South Pole (unless they put a massive IMAX there), but any serious movie obsessive like myself will, from time to time, take things to extremes. For most normal people, a trip to the cinema is simply a question of what’s playing at the nearest cinema. Be that one screen or 24, the decision making process for anyone else I know simply consists of looking at the local listings to see if the movie you want to see is playing.
Fair enough, but I don’t see the amount of movies I see just by just popping to the local. I’ve seen 41 movies so far this year, at six different cinemas. Five of those are within a half hour drive for me as I live in the countryside between a city and a large town, but already this year I found myself with nothing to watch one Saturday evening when my wife was out, so I embarked on a 100 mile round trip to catch two I hadn’t seen at a multiplex further afield.
That was for mainstream movies that played near me but didn’t hang around. It’s weeks like this that the urge to travel also starts to burn in me. Opening wide this week are Sex and the City 2 (8 screens near me), Space Chimps 2 (4 screens) and The Tooth Fairy (3 screens), none of which will be tempting me with my hard earned cash or Unlimited card. However, I do fancy The Losers, which is on three screens as well, and [REC] 2, as I saw both the original, and the US remake Quarantine. Sadly, [REC]2 is on no screens that I’d normally go to.
And that’s where sites like Find Any Film can make you do particularly insane things are really useful in helping to rectify that. A quick search on there, and I know that there’s an out of town Cineworld just over 30 miles away showing it, or a city centre Odeon 40 miles away. Might be a long journey on it’s own, but I do travel a lot for work, so if I can find a meeting in the area, I can call in on my way back. Which often makes a trip to London for business appealing as well, as someone, somewhere, will be showing the movie you want.
And if you’re reading this (thanks, it’s always appreciated), you may be thinking “I’m glad I’ll never have to go to those lengths.” Unless, of course, you want to see something in the IMAX format. In the UK, there are only currently 12 IMAX screens. I’ve been to two of them, one while on a business trip in Birmingham to see The Dark Knight, and a trip down to London last December specifically to see Avatar on the big screen. I can’t recommend this strongly enough, as a proper IMAX screen is almost a completely different experience; cinema can be immersive if you do it right, but seeing a movie on an IMAX screen really does take you completely into that world. Avatar is a good, but not great, movie, but in IMAX 3D it becomes an unmissable audio-visual experience. But it’s one that, like me, you may have to travel for.
So I’m already plotting a trip to London in July, hopefully for an Inception / Toy Story 3 IMAX double feature. But I also have Find Any Film high on my list of bookmarks, for anything that’s a more normal cinema experience. But then, my definition of normal goes a long way.