I do not have a bad word to say about the Orpheus. Okay, if you're watching something quiet in one screen and there's an action movie in the screen next door, you'll probably hear some muffled thuds. Okay, the screens themselves are smaller than many modern television sets. Okay, their selection of movies is sometimes baffling. Okay, people have been known to get stuck in their tiny but deceptively heavy doors leading to the foyer area.
But there is so much to love about the Orpheus. It's just had a little bit of a refurbishment and has now even got digital projectors with 3D technology. Unthinkable a few years ago. And the tickets are no longer cardboard. It feels a bit more shiny, and that's a good thing. But it's lost none of its charm.
The Orpheus is a proud neighbourhood cinema that has stood the test of time when other similar cinemas across the country have closed due to the tough competition from the out-of-town multiplexes.
On Mondays, tickets cost an amazing £3.30. That is reason enough to go to the Orpheus, but there are so many more. It is a very special place that deserves to be treasured.
Perched next to the Waitrose you take a grand walk up the steps to the friendly venue. The cheap tickets (under £5) makes them a favourite, and they take part in Orange Wednesdays.
Their small screens and cute old-school rooms make this ideal for more independent or quieter films but they have lost their way recently and are trying to air blockbusters. They will never compete with the sound system and super large screens of the many local multiplexes for the big brash films so I am hoping that the recent takeover by Scott Cinemas will get them back on track. A new daytime offer including free tea and biscuits sounds like a good start! This could really compete with The Watershed for indie-king of Bristol film if it is given the support of its patrons and new owners. Go check it out!
Henleaze has... a Waitrose, lots of old people, nice suburban houses, and that's about it. Here you will find the wonderful Orpheus cinema. After climbing the stairs (the cinema is above the aforementioned supermarket) you'll find yourself in a cliché cinema lobby, complete with oversize popcorn machine. The staff all seem to be ancient. They'll take your money, carefully count out your change and give you a little ticket to take to the woman standing by the lobby, who's been watching you do all this (being both small and not at all busy, the staff don't have too much else to do).
I've heard people say they've seen widescreen televisions bigger than the cinema screens here. I don't hold the size of the screens against them, though - perhaps this isn't the place to go and watch an action movie but I think the size of place is quaint. Small but perfectly formed probably isn't quite the truth. Small and none the worse for it, then, is how I would describe the orpheus.
This place bring back fond memories of my childhood, watching the likes of Back to the Future and Teenwolf (come to think of it, did my dad have some weird crush on Michael J. Fox?), but it's been fighting what seems to have been a perpetual battle against bankruptcy for at least the last 15 years.
However, more recently, they've hit on a winning formula, screening art house and smaller cult releases that the multiplexes can't be bothered with, alongside more familiar blockbusters. The result is that you can catch some quirky little movies (such as Moon and The Damned United) that you can't get elsewhere, though obviously their technology is far from state of the art.
If, however, your desire to patronise (in both senses of the word) a small, independent operation only goes so far, you may wish to go on Mondays when the entry price is reduced.
This is the funniest, most unusual cinema I've ever been to. Located in the suburbia of Henleaze, it really comes as a surprise when you pull up outside and find it quite literally next door to a three bedroom semi. There is a Waitrose to the other side of it, but it really is quite odd.
You have to walk up an awesome looking set of stairs to get to the lobby, which is great because the stairs themselves are designed in an American styled Art Deco theme, with bright red and blue geometric shapes backlit by strip lights.
As you enter the lobby you are greeted by what seems to be a family run business, with Mum working the till, Dad taking the tickets and daughter working the popcorn. What I found amusing was the Dad clearly knew nothing about the films showing as he asked if we had come to see "23 Dresses" (It's called 27 Dresses of course and no we hadn't).
The cinemas themselves are pretty small and you can hear what's playing next door, but go for the experience more than anything else.
The Orpheus is about the only thing Henleaze has going for it and a trip here is entertaining on so many levels. We first came here in the search for a screen with a digital projector as there were none in Bristol at the time (before the likes of Cabot Circus turned up) and we must have driven past this tiny little cinema five times before spotting it.
Old tile style lettering advertises what the three screens are showing and up the stairs you'll find a lovely old couple (at least I'm guessing they're a couple) selling tickets and ice cream. The tickets are printed out like the kind you'd get at a fun fair and the confectionary on offer consists of Cornettos Mini Milks or a few family size bags of Maltesers. You can make the seats creek just by looking at them and the walls and floors have that sticky quality to them but that only adds to the atmosphere.
If you live in the area or have a car then this cinema is worth the trek for cheap tickets (adult and student tickets both give you change from a fiver) and the lovely staff. We never did find out if there was a digital projector there in the end though...
I like the orpheus for what it is, a small independent cinema. It gets the balance just about right between showing mainstream popcorn munchers and art house foreign films.
The theartes are tiny and depending on which one you go in the seats can be pretty uncomfy. The thing is when I was a child (in the 80's) all cinemas were like this and I love it for that reason. I'm not a big fan of multiplex's and their overpriced tickets, food and everything else. Not every one wants to go bowling after seeing a film!
The orpheus is cheap as chips for tickets but the food and beverages are still overpriced but nowhere near as much as a multiplex.
I'm not sure about disabled access as there is steep steps (about 30) to get to the ticket booth but there maybe round the back.
As I understand it the cinema also has a understanding with the waitrose next door and he cock o' the north pub (which has been renamed to something else) over the road, for parking. However I recommend you get the number 54 bus which stops right outside and can take you to the centre and back.
To conclude it's worth going to the orpheus for the experience alone irrelevant of the film you go to see. The screens are probably smaller then most current £1000 tv's but this place could almost be considered a museum to what cinemas were like before multiplex's.
My favourite cinema in Bristol.
This cinema is a great choice for kids films - the cheap prices and tiny (yes i mean tiny) theatres are great for a family outing.
However, for an intimate night out or checking out the latest blockuster I reckon you really need:
a) a decent sound system,
b) a huge screen and also,
c) a tad more spce in each theatre in case you need to move away form the inevitable weirdo who sits in front of you!!
If you agree with my a, b & c you'll need to go elsewhere to get a decent movie!
I have visited this cinema once and it was like going back in timein a good way! The place is tiny (they were showing four films when i went) but it's very friendly. They also show a real mix of stuff. The tickets are cheap and me and my partner both got in for the price of one ticket at the new Cabot circus cinema.
The screen in the cinema i was in was pretty small and the sound wasn't the best but i can honestly say this didn't stop me from enjoying the film. I think this depends on what type of film you are seeing though; if i had been seeing an action film or something like that which needs a big screen i think i would have been disappointed.
I like the idea of supporting a local, independent cinema and this is great if you live locally. If you are a real film-buff and fussy about your cinemas though this might not be for you. It's amazingly retro and i loved that about it but i don't think it's for everyone.
This is a great little cinema in henleaze next to waitrose (a good place to go and pick up your film watching snacks) where there is a free carpark, so essentially you dont need to worry about parking for the cinema.
Up a large flight of stairs you go thruogh the doors and you are back in the 80s. There is a casdhier behind a counter who takes a mere £4 from you and gives you a proper old school type ticket. The range of food and drinks behind the counter is tiny but they do have an old school style popcorn dispenser. you only have to turn around to be in front of the doors to the few screens that they have. They get all the big movies but the cinema is never full but the theatres arereally comfy and the screens large and the sound system isnt too bad either. They even take part in the orange wednesday promotion too so all round a cheap a great way to catch a movie.
I give it 5 stars for authenticity and reminding me of the good old days before the multi-plex. The staff is particularly friendly and enthusiastic compared to other places, staffed by teenagers who want to be somewhere else. The tickets still come up through the metal plate and the prices are reassuringly inexpensive, which encourages me to come to this place more often than other places. Cheaper nights on a Monday and they do the Orange wednesdays here as well. The screens are small and the seats have not been replaced, I imagine for a well while. And that's why I like it. The crowd may be a little bit more conservative than in other parts of town. That's okay though.
I love this little cinema and when I choose, this is where we go rather than the overpriced chain cinemas. I love the cosiness and the prices of tickets are great. We need to support the independent cinemas in my view as so many have been forced into closure. Discounts for students etc.
What a wonderful cozy little gem of a cinema. The sound system is a little lacking in screen 2 and could do with more front speaker volume but otherwise a totally enjoyable place to go see a movie. Going to the movies on a date? - This is the one to head for :)
One of nine cinemas in this independent cinema chain, The Orpheus in Bristol has just a couple of screens but offers around five or six films each week. Bargain ticket prices, intimate screens, and delicious popcorn can be had by any customer in the traditional, unique setting. A must for any film boff.
Ladies stand in the foyer and hand you a ticket rolled from a machine around their necks....... well almost, this cinema is a treat from times gone for flick watching and has sucessfully held onto the feel of the past with its popcorn and closely spaced seats. Special offers including free nights at the moment with a double bill of Modern British Classics such as Secrets and Lies and Trainspotting being shown on a Thursday.
The Orpheus is like a throwback cinema to the days before multiplexes invaded towns. It isn't huge or ornate but you can imagine it was a bustling local cinema in its' heyday. The film choices are more select than your average cinema; with small screens and even smaller rooms, the Orpheus provides an intimate setting for off-beat films.
My favourite cinema, you don't feel you're being ripped off by the prices and it has a homely feel to it. It has the same staff there most of the time which is really nice and a change from the big faceless multiplexes.
There's something about old cinemas which always gets me excited. Maybe its cos I worked in one for a couple of years and had the most amazing parties there, or maybe it's because there is something wonderfully timeless and nostalgic about the place. Or perhaps it's the amazingly low process in a society where you won't get much change from a tenner for a ticket from most cinemas. The Orpheus charges less than a fiver for most tickets with some uber cheap £3 odd tickets on Mondays. It's a real old school affair, old sticky carpets, old yet perfectly comfortable seats and old projection techniques. Orpheus is often manned by lovely older ladies who have probably worked there most of their lives and is frequented by a mix of school children, real film buffs and art students and older folk. OK, don't bother seeing big blockbusters here as the screens are much smaller than their modern day counterparts but any other film would be best watched here. It's the Harold and Maud on cinemas and I love it.
Really great old school cinema. Interesting choice of films. Cheaper than chain cinemas. Monday night is cheap night and really good value. Be warned they dont take cards.
I love this cosy cinema. It is very cheap and the staff are always very friendly. I like that it shows some of the more obscure films. You may have to wait a little longer to watch the blcokbusters but it makes cinema going more affordable. I like that I am supporting a local indepenant cinema too.
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