When it was announced that Orange Wednesdays would be ending in February there was a general outcry of dismay on Twitter. Coming from a town with one chain cinema, I can understand why, for a lot of people, the end of the two for one tickets offer is a big deal as in lots of places it really is the only option for seeing the latest releases without having to pay extortionate ticket costs. Luckily though, I don’t live in in my hometown anymore and so have other choices for going to the cinema and some that mean I don’t have to spend a fortune. The Genesis cinema is one of those options and is also one of my favourite London places. Handily, it’s also only just up the road from where I live.
Located on Mile End Road and in between Whitechapel and Stepney Green tube stations, it’s a stone’s throw away from my house and somewhere I have no excuse for not visiting more. I’ve seen a fair few blog posts from other bloggers about the Everyman Cinemas and the Prince Charles Cinema (which I also love, see my post on the Spiceworld singalong I attended there here) so I thought it was time to show the Genesis cinema some love.
The first thing you notice when you walk in is the beautiful spacious foyer lined with film posters where you can settle into a squidgy sofa, grab a coffee and a Rinkoff cro-dough and catch up with friends in what is called the Grindhouse Cafe.
Upstairs they also have an area with a bar – Bar Paragon – and a kitchen which serves Pieminister pies in case you’re a bit peckish either pre- or post-film. They also host events like poetry slams there (something I keep meaning to go to) and sometimes free screenings.
Although it looks small from the outside, the Genesis is like a Tardis and has five screens ranging in size. The gem in its crown (in my view, at least), is Studio 5 which houses not only an in-screen bar but also 40 sofas and armchairs. Generally showing the latest blockbusters, it’s a fantastic place to both see the latest releases and to be able to put your feet up. I’m terrible sitting in regular cinema seats, I get fidgety very quickly but in Studio 5 I can get comfy, put my feet up on the footstools (which also act as storage for coats and bags) and snuggle up under the blankets provided.
Although the tickets for Studio 5 are slightly more expensive than their other four screens (ranging from £8-£13 depending on the day compared with £4-£8.50 for the other screens) but it still compares very favourably with standard tickets at the big chains. Plus, isn’t it better to support an independent business that’s not just a cinema but a community space?
I for one won’t be mourning the demise of Orange Wednesdays too much.