Last Monday I took a rare day off work with the kids as their school was closed due to a teacher training day tagged onto their February half term. They would normally go to their holiday club when they are off school, but I kind of forgot to book them in, so a great opportunity to have to take the day off.
I let Miles and Ethan choose what they wanted to do and they picked the cinema, and picked to go and see Alvin and the Chipmonks 2 (great!). I tried to convince them to watch something else but there was no budging them. We don’t have a cinema in Ripon, the old one got turned into a nightclub decades ago, so the closest cinemas are Harrogate, York and Teesside. We opted for the Vue Cinema at York and made sure we arrived early to grab lunch at Frankie & Bennys before the film.
I love going to the cinema and we just don’t do it enough, but I love the big screen, the surround sound, the popcorn and just being able to relax for a few hours. What I don’t like is the extortionate prices that are charged for popcorn and drinks, or the fact that just at the last minute before the film starts some big person comes and sits right in front of the kids when there are loads of free seats.
Even though Alvin2 isn’t quite my choice of movie it was quite funny and cute and the kids were loving it. About 20 minutes from the end, the film turned off, the lights came on and repeatedly over the Tannoy came, “This is an emergency, please got to your nearest exit”. We all shuffled out and were told to keep away from the front of the building which was glass fronted – eeekkk! We stood in the freezing car park for about 10 minutes with no knowledge on what was going on or if we would get back in, so we decided to leave and ended up in ToysRUs instead. The kids were really disappointed at missing the end of the movie.
When we got home I decided to write a letter to Vue Cinema to explain that we missed the end of the movie due to the “emergency” and had to leave. I didn’t expect anything as these days many companies don’t care anymore … but today I received a really nice letter apologising for the false fire alarm going off and the issues it caused us, along with 3 complimentary tickets valid for the next 6 months. What I have been impressed with as well is when I tweeted out that I had been sent what in effect was a refund, I was replied to really quickly by Vue Cinemas on Twitter. It’s a great use of social media that they are monitoring for their brand name and great offline good old fashioned customer service. Thanks again!