Student Guide 2014: The best places to watch movies in Edinburgh and Glasgow
A guide to the cities' cinema scenes, with info on money-off deals at all your local picturehouses
Student cinephiles are spoilt for choice in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Niki Boyle dons a pair of 3D glasses to examine the options
First, some bad news: even with student discounts, it still costs between £6–£9 to see a movie in your average multiplex. So it’s worth paying attention to the money-off offers available at the big chains: Vue’s Super Tuesday deal knocks a third off adult tickets (making them cheaper than student tickets). You can even combine them with Vue’s voucher system for bonus discounts to get tickets for as little as £4.70 (off-peak). Odeon don’t do the voucher thing, but they do run their own Bargain Tuesday deal and there’s a loyalty card system to keep you coming back.
Cineworld’s Unlimited Card is more straightforward – you pay a flat rate of £16.40 per month for as many movies as you can handle, with additional discounts for food and drink. It’s worth considering if you’re going to see more than two films a month, especially when you factor in EE (formerly Orange) Wednesdays – this 2-for-1 ticket offer (available at almost all cinemas) can be combined with the Unlimited Card so that both customers get in for ‘free’. Bear in mind, all these prices are subject to supplementary fees for 3D and IMAX screenings – both Edinburgh’s Fountain Park and Glasgow’s Science Centre are home to IMAX screens, which are worth the extra money when a particularly spectacular blockbuster comes along.
The non-multiplex cinemas have ticket offers of their own, plus student rates that are typically at least a quid or two cheaper than their mainstream counterparts. Edinburgh’s Cameo Cinema offers an annual student membership for just £10, which comes bundled with enough free tickets to make up the cost (plus multiple discounts and exclusive screenings thereafter). Down the road, Filmhouse membership for students is a steal at just £5 for a year - that includes discounts for the in-house Cafe Bar and priority booking for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, which is held annually in June. But that deal is only available until 31 October 2014, so get your skates on - after that, membership is £30 per year, whether you're a student or not. Elsewhere, The Dominion out in Morningside doesn’t give any special treatment to students, but it does have plush leather sofas and old-school charm.
Out west, Glasgow Film Theatre – the hub for February’s annual Glasgow Film Festival – offers a membership package for £32 a year. The Grosvenor cinema in Ashton Lane doesn’t offer much in the way of memberships or discounts (£6–£7 standard student entry), but they do have some decent dinner-and-a-meal deals, plus well-curated special events and screenings.