When you can't face another art gallery, sculpture garden, craft store, ceramics workshop and crowds of day trippers and tourists muttering 'How much?', 'Are you sure?' and 'I dunno, maybe it's in pesos' the Royal is a haven of tranquillity... at least until the sound system kicks in.
As a superannuated superhero fan (Sad, isn't it?) I booked tickets for the latest X-men prequel and for some reason I expected a mid-week matinee to be heaving but found it practically deserted, possibly because we - and the trio of college-age kids who seated themselves across the aisle - were the only people in town low-brow enough to enjoy watching The Wolverine seriously kick donkey.
Maybe the place is a little careworn but isn't that what a local cinema - especially in a seaside town - is all about? IMHO if it's not at least three decades behind the times it's not the real thing: either you blundered a lottery winner's home cinema or it's a mini-multiplex with all the charm of an airport departure lounge.
Like many smaller chains that went digital Merlin - the group behind the Royal - don't just offer movies but live theatre/ballet/concerts/opera. (Hmm. Why do I think those are the nights the place is packed to capacity?)
Whichever is more popular putting bums on seats the Royal scores highly on what I think really matters: excellent sound quality; a great view (of a sensibly sized) screen; clearly marked fire exits; and joy of joys, seats that don't leave patrons hobbling out cursing and clutching their lower spines.
Viva cines locales!
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