Cinemas in Qatar: High price, poor experience
There was a time when watching a movie at the cinemas wasn’t much of a hassle. Tickets were priced at QR20-QR30 and a regular cup of soft drink and popcorn came for QR10. The turnout was low as society regarded cinema as evil and stayed back home (though many would contradict their so-called belief by watching MBC2). But all in all, the cinema experience was worth every penny you spent.
It was in 2008 that cinemas across the country started to hike their ticket prices. Tickets were now priced at QR35. However, paying more didn’t mean you were getting more. Lately, cinema as a way of entertainment is becoming dull.
One of the security staff claimed that such false alarms usually occurred during weekends, and they can’t ask the perpetrators to leave because they are Qataris.
Every Thursday, when new movies arrive at the cinemas, there’s a really long line at the ticket counters, and in no time the tickets get sold out. This really shows how people use cinemas a place to unwind after a long week at work. But sadly, those few hours of enjoyment is ruined by noisy children who chat non-stop during the screening. In fact, a PG 13 or even an A-rated movie screening would often have children among the audience. It’s not acceptable to let children watch these kind of films especially without parental guidance. It’s shocking how parents are sending off their little ones to cinemas with cell phones, iPads and a 500-riyal note as pocket money; and what they do with this money remains a big question.
Have we reached a point where we require a representative from a child protection department to be present at cinemas during weekends?
On another instance, a movie screening at the cinema in Villaggio was stalled for some time on a Friday evening when the fire alarm went off. People were really frustrated, but no one left the cinema since the alarm soon stopped ringing. Security staff claimed that it was a malfunction, but mall visitors spotted a few children smoking in the theatre. One of the security staff claimed that such false alarms usually occurred during weekends, and they can’t ask the perpetrators to leave because they are Qataris.
So the question is: for how long are we going to waste our money on bad cinema experience? Why can’t the security guards be stricter when dealing with youngsters who fool around? To be considered higher than the law is definitely not something to be proud of, even for a Qatari.
Image courtesy Flickr user kombizz kashani.