Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend, 21st - 25th August 2014
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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by ChrisReynolds » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:53 am

I've just remembered another thing. Some of the times on the website are different from the times on the festival programme. The two differences that affected me were that the website says The Last Showing started at 21:00 in Screen 7 when it actually started at 21:15 (not a disaster as it just meant sitting in the cinema for an extra 15 minutes), and the website says the Duke Film Party started at 11:00pm when it actually started at 11:30pm (bad because I missed the first 10 minutes, luckily I decided to talk to Alan in the bar and he asked me what I was waiting around for). It was my fault for relying on a schedule I'd printed off made from times on the internet and not checking it against the programme, but it would be nice if the website was updated with the real times at some point.

There are those big video screens in the bar, and they could be made more useful if between the trailers and publicity segments they could display the times of currently playing or next-to-start films in each screen. I remember The Empire had those red LED displays that did this.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by DJBenz » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:25 am

ChrisReynolds wrote:There are those big video screens in the bar, and they could be made more useful if between the trailers and publicity segments they could display the times of currently playing or next-to-start films in each screen. I remember The Empire had those red LED displays that did this.
That's a stonking suggestion Chris. I spent a fair bit of time either consulting the timetable inside the front doors, or scrabbling through a programme in the bar to see what time my next film was starting. To have it there in the bar area at a quick glance would be very handy.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by hingethunder » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:37 am

Yes, excellent suggestion!

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by Critter Egg » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:14 pm

Back to reality and back at work, here's what I liked about this year's 'fest:

The good:
- The cinema as a whole. The brilliant bar area meant meant less crushing to get in and out, and the increased number of toilets meant I didn't queue for the ladies once! Even on the Monday when it was raining there was plenty of space to sit in the Vue between films, didn't get that in the Empire. I also liked the exit doors at the bottom of the escalator which meant you didn't have to go through the lobby to get out of the cinema.
- The increased number of disco tickets, meaning I didn't have to queue at 8.30am every morning. Also liked being able to collect these all in one go rather than having to queue every day, much better system.
- The films! Not a huge standout forever-favourite for me this year (it's going to take a lot to beat Loved One's there ...) but I thought the whole program was really high quality with a good mix of genuinely well crafted films and fun dumb movies. I chose to skip Shockwave Darkside for Julia - how could anyone think S.D. would be any good from the trailer or even the stills? :s
- The staggered start times. This made it much easier to get in and out of the cinema (apart from the Thursday night). Being in the Arrow screen meant I got to start and end my day earlier which was much better for me.

The not so good:
- The opening night missed the atmosphere for me as others have said; I was in screen 6 (Arrow) and having the introduction via a poorly executed video link up wasn't the same. Maybe if the cameras were actually on the stage it would have been better - we could have even had some crazy '90s style zany angled close ups of Andy Nyman talking to the camera ... But as it was it felt that the welcome to the festival was happening to / for someone else, not to the people in my screen. Things did improve as the weekend went on and people got used to the split screens thing. The goodbye was held in my screen, so I don't know if this was done as a video link up and worked any better in the other screens.
- Maybe it was just the films I chose to see and I missed out, but there seemed to be a lack of surprises / extras this year. I caught two preview clips, which was great, but I missed the short films which used to be shown before films. I appreciate this would be difficult to organise with the timing situation, but I'm sure it could be done.
- E-cigarettes. I am hoping by next summer they will be banned indoors. The light is very distracting and if you were smoking real cigarettes you'd have to wait two hours for your next one, so why can't you wait for a puff on your e-version? I thought the idea of e-cigs was to help people give up, not provide a way to get past the smoking ban.

Overall a really good FrightFest this year and I'm looking forward to Halloween now
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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by DJBenz » Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:22 pm

Critter Egg wrote:I also liked the exit doors at the bottom of the escalator which meant you didn't have to go through the lobby to get out of the cinema.
Was it just me or was there a massive stench of weed every time you got to those doors at the bottom of the escalators?
The goodbye was held in my screen, so I don't know if this was done as a video link up and worked any better in the other screens.
They must have done it in each screen, because we had a live one in Screen 7 too.
E-cigarettes. I am hoping by next summer they will be banned indoors.
I think, not sure though, they're legal indoors unless the venue says otherwise, so the Vue could actually ban them now.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by The Soapmaker » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:07 pm

DJBenz wrote:
Critter Egg wrote:I also liked the exit doors at the bottom of the escalator which meant you didn't have to go through the lobby to get out of the cinema.
Was it just me or was there a massive stench of weed every time you got to those doors at the bottom of the escalators?
:lol: I know it's very naïve, but I've managed to make it to my advanced age without ever actually learning what weed smells like. So you could be right.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by DavieT » Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:48 pm

Yup I've also managed to get through life without knowing that it smells like - hey better Weed than someone who Wee'd out there?.... :s

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by DJBenz » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:05 pm

Well I suppose the best description is it smells like that horrible smell you got at the bottom of the escalators. :lol:

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by The Aylmer » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:39 pm

Yeah, we noticed that sickly sweet smell as well. Didn't realise it was there all weekend though. Somebody in the area has probably got a room full of cannabis plants and forgot to shut a window!

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by MrsBBC » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:07 pm

I think the smell is only hoppy lager.

Anyhoo, did others find the fire exits and circular ceiling lights, distractingly bright?
Cinemas used to be dark. Surely lights can come on post movie or if there is an emergency.

Also, when we accidently left via a fire escape there was a member of staff asleep on the stairs; apparently not guarding/directing, sleeping. Is that legal? Clearly Vue does not pay the London Living Wage.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by HeadOnAStick » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:29 pm

In general, FF was very good at the Vue this year. A couple of things that could be helpful...

As others have noted, it was a bit weird having screen numbers, screen names and Frightfest screen numbers. Maybe that's something we'll just get better at.

I really missed the 'big board' at the entrance. Several times I had to find a programme to work out when my next film was. A big board in the bar and another outside the main door would have been useful.

The screens in the bar are a real asset but I don't think they were best used this year. I'd be tempted to run a 'video programme' there, with a few stills from the movies with their screening times to help people choose what to see, given we have the luxury of options.

Rather than that long wait before the last film while the boys make their way from screen to screen, would it make sense to have the closing thanks done screen by screen before each of the last three screenings, or would that be a bit weird if they said their goodbyes to one of the screens while we still had three films to watch?

For the 'final film' on the middle three days, I'd definitely be in favour of having a group of three suitable, loud, schlocky, fun films rotated day by day between the screens, but I'm aware that actually does make the neat three by three system we had this year completely impossible, even for the other films in the evening, so that's probably impossible.

The best thing about Frightfest is always the atmosphere and I was really pleased that the shake-up didn't seem to have damaged the enthusiasm of the festers. Well done guys.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by DJBenz » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:42 pm

One thing just occurred to me...

Did no-one do the 'First night finery' ie, dressing super smart this year? I didn't see anyone dressed up as usual, it's always a fun sight on the opening night.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by The Soapmaker » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:55 pm

DJBenz wrote:Did no-one do the 'First night finery' ie, dressing super smart this year? I didn't see anyone dressed up as usual, it's always a fun sight on the opening night.
Yeah, I saw a few, I'm sure. But it's not something I take any interest in, to be honest.

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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by zappa fan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:58 am

DJBenz wrote:One thing just occurred to me...

Did no-one do the 'First night finery' ie, dressing super smart this year? I didn't see anyone dressed up as usual, it's always a fun sight on the opening night.
I did!
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Re: Thoughts on FrightFest @ Vue so far..

Post by TheDukeAbides » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:40 am

MrsBBC wrote:I think the smell is only hoppy lager.
Its definitely a plant, but not hops or any other kind of brewed vegetation.
Anyhoo, did others find the fire exits and circular ceiling lights, distractingly bright?
Cinemas used to be dark. Surely lights can come on post movie or if there is an emergency.
This is a problem I've found with all modern multiplexes.

I can tune out to the green fire exit signs, but the light in the ceiling are plain irritating - especially if you are sat under one.


Anyway - another plus point of the Vue is the Sleepy Queue....in so much that as we queue down the side of view we are (or were on this years line) not harassed by either beggars or inquisitive tourists once we'd moved from outside the Odeon. Plus it is more sheltered making it warmer that being outside and around the Empire.

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