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Members Only: A Guide to Cinema Membership in Edinburgh

Going to the cinema is back in style! Whether you’re going with a group of mates, a hot date, or in your own company, there’s nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. If you’re looking to save on your silver screen outings, here’s a breakdown of the membership deals in central Edinburgh cinemas.  

Everyone’s been to Vue Cinema; a commercial giant of a movie theatre where you can see new popular releases on a massive screen for only £4.99. So, what does a free membership offer? You can build up points to upgrade tickets and get discounts on snacks, refund your tickets free of charge up to three hours before screening time, and book the best seats in the house. Plus, Vue will send you trailers and releases tailored to your taste.  

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Edinburgh Filmhouse is an art house cinema that shows new releases from Hollywood but also foreign and independent films. The Filmhouse’s answer to the Wetherspoons at Vue is a comfortable and cool café/bar where you can order food and drinks at discounted prices as a member. Student membership is free and gets you a 10% discount on merchandise as well as priority booking at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. Most enticing is that membership takes tickets from £8 to £5.  

Membership is also free at the Odeon on Lothian Road; a deal comparable to Vue’s in its refunds and personalised offers. Ticket prices remain £9 for members and non-members alike, however, with membership you get two free tickets a month. Also similarly to Vue, Odeon is a chain; while this can sometimes mean it’s not as authentic an experience and doesn’t show independent films, it might be a great option for students originally from other places in the UK, as membership should be valid in all other Odeon cinemas. 15% off purchases at shopDisney is really its only distinction from Vue, however, I imagine this will not be deemed a selling point for many students. 

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Last up is one of Edinburgh’s oldest remaining cinemas: Cameo Picturehouse. Like Edinburgh Filmhouse, The Cameo is an arthouse with a charming café/bar. In contrast to the Filmhouse however, membership costs students a whopping £20 a year! With that hefty price tag comes two free tickets a month, 25% off food, snacks, and drinks, and priority booking.  

After much deliberation and thorough research, I decided that The Filmhouse was the most worthy cinema to place my loyalties. The price is great, the cinemas are beautifully old-school, they show great films, and with the inviting and often bustling café/bar I feel like The Filmhouse brings some of the traditional cinema magic into the present. Sure, the Filmhouse is the farthest of the four options from my flat (Vue is a five-minute walk!) but with a membership, I don’t just want to see a movie on a big screen but have a full filmgoing experience. If this is also what you’re looking for on your Friday night movie excursions, then I can’t recommend the Filmhouse enough. 

Going to the movies is a great way to spend your time but not your money. Hopefully with one of these memberships you can enjoy the pictures without breaking the bank.  

Image courtesy of Edinburgh Filmhouse via Flickr