Filmhouse Cinemas started its operations in Ibadan at Heritage Mall Dugbe and until recently, the cinema at Dugbe used to be my preferred place to visit when I want to watch films until some months ago when I began to visit the cinema at The Ventura Mall.
Last time I was at the cinema at Dugbe, I saw AY’s 30 Days in Atlanta while the last time I was at the Samonda outlet, I watched Horrible Bosses 2. I was the first person to get into the cinema halls in both occasions and with the lights on, I got the opportunity to look around. And in my mind, I began to compare both cinemas operated by the same company.
Generally, the cinema at Samonda looks more sophisticated and ultramodern that the one at Dugbe, maybe because it’s the most recent, or the company decided to upgrade its facilities in order to lure customers to Samonda because of the superior services. Samonda cinema has blue lights that would guide and protect you from falling, the chairs are also way more superior to the ones at Dugbe.
There is however a shortcoming for the chairs at Samonda, the arm rest cannot be lifted which means you cannot merge two seats together. I tried all the tricks in the world to remove it, nothing happened and I quietly accepted my fate. Lovers that love to snuggle and cuddle in the cinema hall will not like this type of seat and may have to go to Dugbe for this feature.
But this feature has its good sides, you won’t see ladies and guys engaging in stuffs that are so dirty that I can’t even type here. Some ladies also love the immovable nature of the chairs, especially those who don’t have an answer yet for the guys but may have to endure two hours with arms on their shoulders – and probably somewhere else.
For Dugbe however, there are no holds barred concerning the seats and if you look at those sitting in two’s close enough, you may see some action going on apart from what you see on the screen.
The moviegoers at Samonda are more conservative compared to those that visit Dugbe. I always get annoyed when people are making so much noise that you can’t follow the dialogues of the movie till peace is restored. Sometimes I have to watch movies over and over again just to ensure that I get all the lines. At Samonda however, you can enjoy your movie (and popcorn) in peace with a calmer audience that are more interested in watching the movie than just being in the cinema hall.
Concerning the staff, I think the quality of service is about the same. I’ve been to Filmhouse Cinemas at Ibadan, Lagos and Calabar and I’ve observed lots of similarities in the attitudes of their workers. They have members of staff that are always smiling; there are also few ones that wear frown on their faces – maybe that’s their nature. So, in terms of quality of service, it is largely the same across the cinemas.
On the overall, I will recommend Filmhouse Dugbe for those who love outdoors and seeing lots of people having the same kind of fun as they are. I will recommend the place for those who love to see other stuffs going on in the mall while they wait for their movie to start. Kids love the escalator at Dugbe which means it would be an added fun, a free one, for the young ones and the young at heart irrespective of age.
But if you are very reserved and highly conservative, you may have to go to Samonda. If you are a VIP that doesn’t want many people to see you, Samonda is ideal for you. Just ride the lift from the basement of the mall and go straight to cinema. Buy your ticket and snacks. Sneak into the cinema or sit on the hideous seats which you wait. Once you are through with the movies, you can take same route to get to your car without much people knowing who you are.
If you are also someone that gets easily pissed off when people turn the cinema into a football viewing centre, I would recommend you stick to the cinema at Samonda because you would get annoyed when people begin to laugh loudly to stuffs that are not even funny in the first place. Sometimes the laughter goes on for several minutes and trust Mr Osita, the film will not be paused nor rewound.
Furthermore, if you are in a holy relationship that preaches no contact, Samonda is the place for you in order not to fall into temptation when you see lovemaking and kissing scenes in sin-prone movies. If you are also a guy and you can’t stand the annoying attitudes of girls pinging and chatting in the cinema hall – including those chewing gums loudly and other saucy acts, respect yourself and visit Samonda instead.
Samonda also has better toilets, you get more privacy if you take pictures there, you would look more sophisticated and convincing – and it is free of charge.
So, the company has presented you with options to choose from. I visit both regularly based on my mood and state of mind. If I want to see people everywhere, and I want to buy stuffs at Shoprite, Dugbe is my place; but if I just want to enjoy a movie in a very quiet atmosphere, I will go to Samonda.