Sunday, November 23, 2008

Movie Theatre/ Cinema at the Ramses Hilton Annexe vs City Stars

Someone told us that there was a 5 screen theatre on the 7th floor of the Ramses Hilton Annexe (RHA) and we thought this may be a better idea than driving all the way to City Stars (CS) for a movie.

In comparison,
RHA - no parking space close by.
CS - underground parking and chaos of open parking on the outside.

Ticket costs at both locations is 30LE. RHA offers tickets at 15LE for the 10am at 1pm shows.

Booking tickets is relatively simple at both locations. while CS has one ticket counter per running movie, RHA had one ticket counter only, but she was quite efficient.

Snacks at CS are fresher and lower price than RHA. The only fresh snacks that RHA had was popcorn. RHA also does not allow self service (you are supposed to sit down on one of their many sofas in the lobby) and adds a service charge and sales tax to your bill. Plus the waiter expects baksheesh.

RHA cafeteria was heavily over staffed in their cafeteria for the 6:30pm show. Husband and me were the only 2 people (they have 5 screens) buying anything at the cafeteria. They had 8 waiters and 2 managers at a desk. The waiters were busy playing mobile games near the wash rooms.

Our movie was supposed to begin at 6:30. Doors were opened at 6:20. Lights were on when we entered, but the usher insisted on showing us to our seats, turning on a completely redundant flashlight and equally insistently demanded baksheesh for the service. We have been to 6 other theaters in Cairo and have never faced this situation, although I had heard about it. The other 23 people who were in the RHA theater for "Quantum of Solace" paid up without even being asked. So it seems to be a norm at this theater, even though the ticket prices are on par with CS.

With just 23 people in the audience of a theatre built to fit around 1000 people (yes RHA is much much larger than CS), pickings must have been slim although it was a Saturday evening. While we waited in the lobby, it did not look like there were too many people visiting the other 4 screens either.

Adherence to time. For a 7pm movie at CS, the ads start rolling by 6:30pm, trailers anytime between 6:45 to 6:50pm and the movie normally starts on time. At RHA, our movie was supposed to start at 6:30pm. They played some horribly depressing music till 7:05pm, then there was one trailer for another movie running in the same theater. The movie finally started at 7:10pm.

Washrooms at CS are quite clean and in functioning condition most of the time. At RHA, there were no locks on some doors, they had fancy copper sinks which werent properly fixed and there was no soap or toilet paper.

Price - With all the baksheesh and taxes, Ramses Hilton Annexe works out more expensive than City Stars.
Service at RHA, I would rate at 4 (for the ticket counter lady, no one else), CS I would rate at 8.
Timeliness - CS -9 (high on time performance) RHA - 1 (for actually screening the movie)
RHA does score higher on convenience, easy access and time saved if you are based around Downtown, Mohandaseen, Dokki and with the crazy traffic on 6th of October bridge in the last 2 months, it does give RHA an advantage (but this is just due to their location)

I'd rather go to the Diamond mall theater in 6th of October, if it is just a time saving that I am hoping for.


riham said...

Dear Kim,
you can try the nile city cinema.
it is located in the nile city building (Mobinil building), corniche el nile after Hotel conrad.
they have 6 cinema they are smaller than the RH one but very nice. The cafetiria is Star bucks and in the mall there is also Casper and Gambini and Cilantro along with few shops. I think it's closer than City stars cinema

Kim said...

This is also one of the cinemas that we have tried and liked.


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