Odeon Limitless is the new card announced today to rival Cineworld’s Unlimited equivalent. But it’s anything but Limitless.
Firstly, for most of us it’s around a pound dearer than Cineworld (£17.99 compared to £16.90), while they’re both a shade under £20 if you’re in the London West End.
And if I was going to be a card that makes claims as per its name, then I’d be able to walk into all of them – 2D, 3D, IMAX et al. And you can’t. You can see any 2D film, but if you want to see a 3D film, then not only do you have to fork out a quid for the glasses (unless you bring ones you’ve used before), but it also costs £2 for the ‘3D upgrade’. REALLY??? Even Cineworld drop this requirement after a year of membership (which itself makes their ‘Unlimited’ card similarly limited).
This completely debunks their slogan: “See all the films you want, as often as you like”. Because you can’t.
Cineworld also allow 10% discounts on their food and drink, rising to 25% after the first year. Odeon do neither. However, I never buy a cinema’s own food – it’s overpriced, under-tasty and I’d rather bring in my own water bottle, mints, crisps, sandwich, half-roast chicken etc. I wouldn’t drink that much during a film anyway – they’re getting longer and longer (2½ hours for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice??!), and I’m getting older, so if the film’s pushing three hours then I’m at that point where I’d quite like to see the return of the intermission.
Also, I can get discounted 2D tickets through my workplace for the Odeon, so I would need to visit 4 times in person each month to make it worth my while. Generally, an adult 2D ticket is £10 in peak times in Manchester, so if you’re going to use it at least three times in a month on 2D-only, then it might be worth considering, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that it ain’t Limitless!
In addition, you can only use the card for yourself, so if I went with someone else, full price would be charged for them. Compare that to the aforementioned tickets I can get which are not limited in that way.
Other restrictions are £1.60 for Premier seating (or, rather, seats that won’t hurt your arse – seriously, Odeon, sort them out. So many of the seats in the Trafford Centre have been sat on so many times that they’re at an angle of around 30 degrees below the horizontal so they’re bloody unconfortable), a fiver for IMAX (which is also the same difference between a peak 2D and IMAX ticket – so no discount for the fact you have this membership), plus other types of screenings such as ISENSE (Ireland’s equivalent of IMAX), The Gallery (pay a load more for unlimited nachos to make you fat, and drink to make you wee a lot) and D-Box (your seat shakes you about a lot).
And the card is useless for “ODEON Event Cinema”, such as music concerts, theatre performances or any time there’s a Sherlock of Doctor Who special being shown and, for some reason, you cannot turn your television on.
Odeon also have a competition where the finalists must make their way to London at their own expense – which costs a fortune at the best of times – for the prize of a ‘Lifetime’ Limitless card. Which only lasts 10 years. Lifetime for a dog, perhaps.
Hence, I will not be buying the Odeon Limitless card. Had it been £17.99 for all 3D, IMAX and so on, then perhaps, but definitely not in its current form.
More info can be found at Odeon.co.uk/limitless and note that the upgrade prices may differ for your cinema, although I would expect the only major increases would be if you’re in Central London.