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“An oasis of popular entertainment in a wilderness of high culture”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Royal Cinema

Royal Cinema
Ranked #2 of 3 Fun & Games in St Ives
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Royal Cinema is a 3 Screen Cinema. As part of Merlin Cinemas, Royal Cinema St Ives is part of the Movie Magic Discount Card scheme. See our website for more information.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“An oasis of popular entertainment in a wilderness of high culture”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

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!

Visited June 2014
Thank Keith A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“It's Lovely, Stop Moaning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 June 2014

Came here with my brother last year on a family holiday, and it was lovely. It's a gorgeous, classic, small town cinema, and I'm so glad it's still running so well. To those saying it needs lick of paint; you see to have been expecting an Odeon, a massive chain cinema. This is not that. It is small and friendly, warm, and deserves more visitors than it possibly gets. If not for anything else, it's a piece of social history.
Good, current films, with good screen and sound, comfy seats, and relaxing. You're all doing such a good job, keep it up.

Visited August 2013
Thank Ariane D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Desperately in need of a refurbish!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

After reading reviews we decided to give the cinema a try but in hindsight I really wish we hadn't! I was dubious as soon as we arrived as the outside is in dire need of a clean and lick of paint and once inside we realised we were the only people there. The screen we were in is in urgent need of a refit. The seats were frayed, some had holes and worryingly some we're missing entirely. There were also no lights or indicators of the steps down to the seats so if you go inside be careful not to trip.
I think the cinema could be great, it needs a lot of money investing in it though and frankly as we were only there for a few days we decided to leave and spend our time somewhere more pleasant. A real shame though, I'm sure it was fantastic in its hay day.

Visited May 2014
Thank Cubes02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
69 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Use it !!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014

I think cinema goers should make sure they use this old sea side cinema to keep it ,
looks a bit tired but shows latest films something else to entertain kids with on dull days

Visited April 2014
Thank holidays02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Ives, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
71 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Keep this cinema!!!!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2014

I can only second what others say. This is a local cinema. Shows all the films you could want to see together with live screenings from ROH, National Theatre and so on. It is not a multiplex and yes a bit threadbare but the screen and sound are great and it is so lovely to be able to just walk to a local cinema. It is a resource both the locals and visitors need. What else to do with kids on a wet day in August? And indeed where better to be on a wet evening in the middle of February?!
You can be cold there but wrap up warm! And they sell all the usual cinema snacks.
Staff are great. Nothing too much trouble. Hurrah for the personal, local, community cinema!
We are so lucky to have it.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank vwaves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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