I was never planning on writing a review about cinemas in Paris, but since I have done a few of them on cinemas in Lebanon, I thought why not. Plus what drove me to do so is the fact that after looking into the details of the cinema experience in Paris, I realized that we have a lot to be proud of in Lebanon.
I went to the movies twice at Gaumont Champs Élysées this trip. Located on the most visited avenue on earth this address is a reference for many. Having said that, a minimum level of service is required. We are in Paris, a country known for many luxurious things. I walked around the cinema looking for some positive vibes with no success. It was 7pm, and I was hungry. All you can eat is chips or popcorn with an endless choice of sweets but nothing consistent.
I bought my ticket, paid 11,2€ (22,000L.L) for the following:
- Chairs are old, dirty black and torn apart like they have been there since after World War II. I simply had to cover the chair with my jacket to avoid my clothes and hair from getting dirty.
- The floor is dirty like hell. Popcorn here and there, candies wraps and other pieces of garbage.
- No seating assigned. You walk in and sit wherever you want. Here’s a problem. If you are a group you surely need to sit next to each other, this can rarely happen when you have a full house. Why wouldn't people choose their seats in advance?
- There is no staff to help with the seating
The concession area is fine if only they offer real sandwiches:
- Popcorn: Salt or caramel in three different sizes
- Two soft drink fridges offering 0,5L bottles
- A large choice of biscuits
- Chips in many sizes
- A complete wall of candies to fill in grams
It's not acceptable:
- To have popcorn that’s this bad: Chewy, hard, cold, salty and inedible
- Popcorn has been prepared a day in advance. It's really inedible and they make you pay around 6€
- The choice of having a mix of salt and caramel in one box is not available
- They have no ice? And no cups? And the best part is that the first advertising before the movie is about "Coke Draft". Funny!
Usually the whole movie experience is based on some fine popcorn and a large 1 liter draft super cold soft drink served with ice: Don't even dream about having this here. And I said to myself:
"It is impossible that French people accept to live with such bad service and experience at the movies". So I decided to go check out another location, Cinema Montparnasse. The cinemas are newer, cleaner and the popcorn is more enjoyable; hot and crunchy, but still no ice, no cups and no food. It's better which means that when there is a will there is a way and improvement can be made.
Should we compare it to Lebanon?
- Choose from a wide choice of food items
- The popcorn is baked by the minute and enjoyed fresh
- Soft drinks are served in draft cups with ice
- The cinemas are all new and perfectly maintained
- We only pay 13,000L.L for a movie and not 22,000L.L
- We have a VIP cinema option for the more demanding customer
You end up paying 20€ for an experience that is just not worth it. We offer better for only 10€ in Lebanon with added finesse, a cleaner ambiance, better service and more choices of food. Let's be proud of what we have.