Review: Director’s Club Cinema in SM Malls
It was one stress-free Sunday afternoon when we learned about a new international film having an outstanding review already being shown in theatres. We decided to watch the movie in a freshly opened SM Mall in our area, SM East Ortigas, located at Ortigas Avenue Extension, Brgy Sta. Lucia, Pasig City. We learned through social media that it has 8 theatres; 4 regular ones and 4 Director’s Club Cinemas.
We were aware that such extravagant cinemas do exist but never got the chance to watch a movie in one. We’ve always been satisfied with the regular 2D and 3D cinemas hence we did not feel the need to try until this day. This time, our preferred movie was only being shown in one of the Director’s Club Cinemas hence I can say that our movie experience that day was just mostly because we didn’t have any other options if we’re to go to the nearby SM Mall. And I am sure glad we didn’t.
Tickets and Reservation
The Director’s Club Cinema usually have a reserved seating arrangement so if you want to secure a specific seat or if you’re going with a huge crowd, you may opt to call the cinema hours before the movie for reservation. Please note that you have to be in the cinema at least an hour before the movie for your payment and seating confirmation otherwise you might lose your reserved seats to other walk-in viewers.
Another way to secure your movie seat is to make a reservation online on the SM Cinema website using your E-Plus Card. This is a stored-value reloadable card that can be used to avail various SM services.
And finally, if you think the cinema will not be crowded, you may choose to just go directly to the ticketing section 15-20 minutes before the movie. You will simply be asked what film you’d like to watch and which seat you want to be seated. One movie ticket is Php400.00 which goes with a free bowl of popcorn. You will need to pay for the beverage and anything else extra. Furthermore, bringing outside food is prohibited. Since ours was an unplanned movie date, we just went to the ticket booth and got ourselves two tickets an hour before the actual screening.
I don't think people are fools, and I think they deserve a good attitude and smart entertainment.— Tatyana Tolstaya
The Facilities and Services Offered
We went in a good 15 minutes before the movie. The passage leading to the cinema was clean, bright and spacious. One thing I immediately noticed was the PWD-friendly design of the area. There’s a dedicated ramp for wheelchairs leading towards the doors which was very thoughtful. The designers did a good job primarily considering the PWD target audiences who would like to enjoy a good movie with family with less hassle, less crowd and as convenient as possible.
Inside our assigned cinema, there were huge comfortable automatic recliners which was one of my favorites about the set-up. I didn’t count but in my rough estimate, there’s around twenty with good intervals in between chairs. One downside, you could get too comfortable and fall asleep during the movie so choose your movie well.
There’s a table situated in between every two recliners where you could put your free bowl of popcorn and beverage. The buzzer in the center of the table would get the attention of the friendly cinema staff who would be ready to assist you before and during the movie. If you want more popcorn – yes, you will have to pay for your second bowl and thereafter - or buy your desired beverage, there will be a cinema staff who will do that for you without you leaving your seat.
The staff assigned to us was very pleasant. We were early and first to go inside and she readily informed us to just press the buzzer if we need anything. We got our free popcorn before the movie began and she also bought our beverages for us. One thing though, in the middle of the movie, one of the staff approached us and asked if we buzzed and if we need anything, and we didn’t. It might be a system glitch but too minor to affect my overall impression.
Another great thing about the set-up? The lavatories are inside the cinema, just a few steps away from your seat, near the entrance.
When the cinema started showing some trailers of movies to be shown soon, I immediately appreciated the wide wall to wall screen in high definition. The vibrant colors and sharp images make it absolutely superior to screens in regular cinemas. It makes the experience more desirable and personal. Couple it with quality surround sound system and you’ll have one unforgettable movie experience.
Value for Money
In total, we got to enjoy state of the art facilities and technology with free food. We didn’t have to go with the flow of regular movie goers instead enjoyed the movie in a less crowded theater. As a result, our experience was much more wonderful. All these and a great film to watch is every movie goer’s dream. I can fairly say that paying Php400.00 for all these was absolutely worth it.