Less guilt, more pleasure: how cinema is becoming a healthier yet more comfortable experience

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HMV Curzon Wimbledon

For years, going to the cinema has always seemed to turn into one of the unhealthiest activities you can do with your weekend or evening.

You sit, cramped up in an uncomfortable chair, straining your neck to see the screen above the head of the person in front of you while you munch away on sugar or salt-covered popcorn and sip on a sugar-filled soft drink. And if popcorn or soft drinks aren’t usually your style you can normally instead be temped into ice cream, a massive hot dog, pick and mix or some (often slightly soggy tasting) tortilla crisps.

The whole experience can last up to about two hours and during this time you happily seem to eat a variety of poison which would never be so acceptable under any other circumstance. You’re also extremely uncomfortable for the duration of the experience, with people shuffling past you every five minutes, and the general surroundings in the areas outside the screens always seem to shock you with their sheer ugliness after the film has finished.

A new trend

But in the past few months I’ve noticed a new trend begin to emerge. I’ve spoken before about how impressed I was with the Curzon Mayfair cinema. I went to see The September Issue there a few weeks ago. And then this weekend I decided to try out the new HMV Curzon in Wimbledon. 

It’s a new partnership between HMV and Curzon, where a new cinema has been built in some unused space above the HMV. And this was an altogether different cinema experience to the norm.

There’s a fully licensed modern bar (click here for a picture) in the reception area. So if you’re going with friends it’s the perfect place to go for a drink before the film or even a place to have a drink afterwards if you all want to discuss the film. And as for snacks, options included nuts and olives!

And the seats in the cinema are really comfortable, with so much leg room that people can walk right past you without you having to contort your body into a weird shape so that they can get to their seat or out to the aisle.

Overall, the whole experience was far more pleasurable than what you usually put yourself through at the cinema and I didn’t even feel slightly sick and high from the sugar rush afterwards.

So, it seems it is becoming possible to make a trip to the cinema not only a healthy experience, but also an incredibly comfortable one. There’s no need to run out of the premesis as fast as possible after the film to avoid the popcorn ridden carpets and the smell of slightly stale tortillas and hotdogs, and you don’t even have to lecture yourself before attending on the fact that this time you are not going to be eating anything unhealthy.

Instead there are plenty of healthy food options available if you are feeling hungry and the whole premesis is designed for enjoyment rather than to encourage you to get out as quickly as possible.

By Sophie Hudson

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