Going to the pictures; going to the flicks; going to the movies; whatever your preferred terminology, a trip to the cinema is arguably the world's most beloved leisure activity ever since the first commercial screening of a film took place in Paris in December 28 1895. In fact, according to UNIC, Ireland is the highest cinema going nation in Europe for the past four years. And despite technological advances which have enabled us to watch films on our laptops and our phones, there is no movie watching experience that can claim to be superior in engaging the brain, stirring our emotions, and feeding our souls, like sitting in a theatre in front of the big screen.
But like any aspect of the entertainment industry, cinemas must keep up with the latest in popular trends, and provide moviegoers with an experience which cannot be matched or replicated anywhere else. Having opened its doors to the world on August 9 2019, the Omniplex Salthill is the group's first D'Luxx Cinema. Offering patrons the swankiness of a 1920s cinema décor (with comfy seats ) and the latest in state of the art technology, including fully electric reclining seats, laser projection in all its screens, featuring 4K laser projection, and Dolby Atmos auditoriums, the screens are truly like no other. For Shauna Crawley, marketing and loyalty manager at Omniplex Cinemas, the cinema located in Bailey Point gives moviegoers an opportunity to experience the newest releases in the most modern and comfortable of surroundings while travelling back in time to a golden era of movie going - the twenties.
"Omniplex Salthill is a cinema which offers something different to any other cinema," she says. "As our first D'Luxx Cinema, it is the most technologically advanced movie experience offered to date by Omniplex Cinemas. Every screen has fully electric reclining seats and laser projection as standard. Currently we have seven screens, however an eighth will soon be launched with a further two expected to be completed by the end of the year.
"Our 1920s decor then provides the wonderful contrast between cinema's famous past and its exciting future. When designing Omniplex Salthill, we wanted to give our patrons a cinema which makes them go 'wow' so the juxtaposition of a 1920s styled lobby and staff uniforms and modern technology in the screens, is an aspect which we believe has really worked well."
Seats that hug
Ultimately the quality of the movie that one chooses to see will have a big say on whether our trip to the cinema is given a thumbs up or a thumbs down. However, one aspect of any theatre that can be the difference between wishing to go back and never returning is the seat. Omniplex Salthill provides fully electric reclining seats in each screen where guests can find themselves lying back with their feet in the air while watching at the tap of a button. Once more, the vast space in each screen will mean there is no need to get up to allow a fellow moviegoer out to the lobby or no more battling for armrest supremacy; there is plenty of room for all. Shauna reveals comfort and quality was a major component of the design process.
"Having a comfortable and enjoyable experience when attending Omniplex Cinemas is what we strive for and our seats play a big part in that process. We scoured the globe looking for the best in quality and comfort when it comes to seating solutions so we do put a lot of emphasis in this area.
"There is pre-testing where we will test out the seats ourselves before installing them. The best way to describe our seats in Omniplex Salthill is that they ‘hug you’ so they are hugely comfortable and we have had great feedback on them so far."
But it would not be the cinema without some sort of delicious sweet treat to munch while watching the trailers and movie. With an assortment of Pick'n'Mix options, sweets, chocolate, and of course, popcorn popped fresh on site, guests have a wide range from which to choose.
With one visit to Omniplex Salthill, it is likely that a second outing will follow quickly and for those customers who have been captivated by the cinema's exquisite charms, MyOmniPass is a superb way to get some brilliant benefits. Shauna says; "With MyOmniPass, patrons are entitled to one free ticket to every movie; 10 per cent off additional tickets online for friends; 10 per cent off cinema treats; MyOmniPass only preview screenings; pre-book one ticket online at a time; and book as many tickets as he/she wishes on the day in-cinema. Guests can get this all for €24.95 per month so it is really great value. In fact, since we launched MyOmniPass earlier this year, our members have seen more than 140 different movies."
With a two month anniversary only reached, you would be forgiven to think the Omniplex Salthill would take stock of its incredible debut on the cinema scene in the city but Shauna announces that there are more impressive plans on the horizon with live opera events and a restaurant and bar to open next year.
"We have a lot lined up over the coming months. We have a number of live events coming to Salthill Omniplex including the excellent Met Opera, kicking off on October 26, the Royal Opera, and the Royal Ballet. Cinema wise we have special showings of Halloween and Christmas classics like Hocus Pocus, as well as the biggest releases so we will have a nice balance between blockbusters and event cinema.
"And, of course, our restaurant and bar which is due to launch next year. The menu has not been finalised yet but it will have all the firm favourites. We believe the restaurant and bar will enabled us to provide patrons with a proper night out experience with dinner, drinks, and a movie."
Shauna and the team at Omniplex Salthill thank local businesses and customers for their support to date and look forward to seeing them over the coming months.
For more information or to book tickets visit www.omniplex.ie/cinema/galway