Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Old Fashioned Picture House

I have fond memories of visiting the cinema as a child - The Gaumont, The Ritz and the ABC with their cranky wooden seats, the plush red upholstery all around, the usherettes with their torches, the ice creams at interval time, the feeling of escape from the brash outside world to the cosy, dark interior of the auditorium, the adverts for the local curry house and the distinctive smell of the old building which had entertained cinema goers for years.  

But gradually a lot of these cinemas have been turned into Multiplex cinemas (cram 'em in as much as you can and sell 'em sugary drinks and sweets at hugely inflated prices).  Even worse, many have disappeared altogether.  But a few of the old style cinemas have stood the test of time and we are so lucky that our closest cinemas in Worthing are both "old-style" cinemas that have been refurbished to provide modern comforts (digital technology, comfy seats, air conditioning etc) but still retain their old world charm.

The Art Deco style Connaught doubles up as a theatre and cinema and shows all of the latest movies in 2D and 3D along with some of the old classics.  The Connaught Studio is a smaller space housed in the same building and in addition to screening movies, also hosts live music and comedy events.  

The Dome Cinema in Worthing

The Edwardian style Dome Cinema overlooks the seafront and also hosts 2 screens.  It is a grade II listed building and has recently been refurbished and is our particular favourite. 

If you think the Dome looks familiar, it featured in the 1980's film Wish You Were Here, which told the bittersweet story of teenage girl growing up in an English seaside town in the 1950's.

Both cinemas have a calm and civilised air about them and the staff are always very friendly.  

It's a good excuse to get the Dome a little bit earlier to allow time for a drink in The Projectionist's Bar before the performance (but you're also allowed to take your drink into the auditorium, which is a nice touch)

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Ice Cream Not For Dragons

The latest series of Dragon's Den has just finished and I think it was in the next to last episode when 2 very charming young men, Harry and Charlie, came on and presented their guilt free luxury ice-cream.  You would think the combination of luxury and guilt free when talking about ice-cream was not possible, but it is and this is a luxury dairy ice cream with less sugar and calories than an apple and it is the creation of Oppo 

It's fascinating to read their story and how it all started with a windsurfing trip to Brazil which turned out to be a lot more than a simple windsurfing holiday.

But back to the Dragons - at first they were really impressed.  And then one of the Dragons mentioned a slight aftertaste with one of the flavours and this influenced the thoughts of the others.  All in all, the Dragons pulled out because one had a conflict of interests (fair enough), 2 were not quite convinced with the slight aftertaste issue and the 2 remaining dragons pulled out because they thought the market was too small for them. 

I think this is one of those cases when the Dragons are going to look back and think they made the wrong choice.  Personally, I didn't actively seek out the product as I didn't think it was that widely available, but when I recently saw the Madagascan Vanilla and Baobab flavour staring back at me in the freezer department of the local Co-op (and bonus, it was also on special offer), I just had to give it a go.  My verdict is that it is absolutely lovely.

I have no sponsorship from Oppo so this is my own unbiased opinion.  At the time of the tv programme I was sorry that such a good product was rejected by the Dragons.  But its ok, as it turns out that Oppo didn't need Dragons investment after all because they've grown their market through crowdfunding and they are going from strength to strength.  Going on Dragon's Den was a way of raising awareness and it worked for me - Oppo ice-cream?  I'm in!