I first visited Dumfries Odeon Cinema nearly 25 years ago, and it felt tatty, run-down and in desperate need of refurbishment or, preferably, demolishing and a better one built.
25 years on, and it still hasn’t been refurbished or replaced.
The seats are grotty, small and uncomfortable; the sound quality is frequently poor; and, in the case of the last in the series of Harry Potter films I went to see with my son last night, the picture was out of focus on the top half of the screen. And I’m not even going to mention the archaic toilets… *shudder*
The film itself was fine – if you’ve enjoyed the other Harry Potter movies, there’s no reason you wouldn’t enjoy this one – but the viewing experience was lousy. And watching it in 3D didn’t make it any less out of focus on the top half of the screen.
Each time I go to the Dumfries Odeon I swear I’ll never go back, but time passes and eventually I figure it can’t quite be as bad as I remember it, or feel that any right-thinking business must have made improvements by now. But I’m always disappointed.
Before we moved to this area, 6 years ago, we lived up in the Central Belt of Scotland. The nearest cinema was the Allan Park in Stirling, but that wasn’t much of an improvement on Dumfries, so we used to regularly go down to Cineworld in Falkirk – a 12 screen multiplex with large, comfy seats, huge screens, great sound and toilets where you didn’t feel you needed to be scrubbed clean with a wire brush after using them. We used to go there at least 2 or 3 times a month.
Dumfries Odeon gets visited no more than once a year.
Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of choice. There is the Robert Burns Theatre, which has a small screen, cramped seats and doesn’t sell popcorn. Or you have to go further afield to Annan, which from Castle Douglas is over 30 miles away and still isn’t that wonderful.
Basically, there isn’t a really good cinema less than 1½ to 2 hours drive away. So these days we mostly wait until the DVD has come out before we see any new-ish films.
Pity the DVD and video rental shop in Castle Douglas closed down over a year ago...