A venue loved by kids, teens and parent’s desperate for undercover entertainment…
Address: Xscape MK, 602 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3XS
Phone: 0333 003 3444
Ticket information: Standard prices range from £8.30 for children – £11.80 for adults
Superscreen prices range from £9.90 for children – £14.30 for adults, 4DX prices range from £13.00 for children – £16.50 for adults
(Additional costs for 3D screenings and 3D glasses)
Located within the popular Xscape Leisure complex at Marlborough Gate, is the large and well-liked Cineworld multiplex, Cineworld Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes as a city, has had a long and happy relationship with the multiplex. From welcoming the UK’s first ever multiplex in 1985 through to today, where you can enjoy 27 screens of multiplex entertainment at different chain venues, it’s fair to say that Milton Keynes audiences enjoy a good multiplex experience.
Open since June 2000, this Cineworld venue has become one of the top 10 most visited cinemas in the country, a result of it’s shared location with the leisure destination Xscape and for it’s continued investment in technology at this cinema.
Situated on the first floor of the building, your first sight of the cinema is the ticket collection point on the ground floor, with four fully automated machines that can help you both book or retrieve tickets for your visit. Once there, you are signposted to the first floor via escalator. (Ensure that you close your child’s eyes as you walk towards the Cineworld foyer as you will need to walk past the child snaring powers of the arcade amusements in Hollywood Bowl first!)
With a large foyer and accompanying concession counter areas, this venue caters well for the numbers of customers it welcomes on a daily space. Ample space has been given to Starbucks, the chain’s coffee chain partner, with adequate seating available for those wanting to drink-in before the start of their movie. Also available at this cinema is a Baskin Robbins counter, standard counters serving hot food (nachos/hotdogs) and a large CandyKing Pick ‘N Mix display.
Our experience at the venue served to illustrate how many people still use concession counters to book tickets and pick up their 3D glasses, not just purchase refreshments. We experienced long delays in different queues prior to the film starting due to this.
Screens are separated to each side of the central counters, with Screens 1-8 including the 4DX screen on the left and screens 9-16 including the Superscreen found on the right hand side. However we found large queues formed at each screen gateway due to screen cleaning from previous performances over-running and a distinct lack of communication from staff to customers on several issues; when the screen would be available and where they could pick up their 3D glasses.
The majority of screens only offer standard seating with no option for upgrades in this venue unlike other chains however as part of the 4DX and Superscreen offerings, there are upgraded seating options. Superscreen offers Italian leather seats with the 4DX screen having only their motion seating with footrests and velvet coverings available.
The technology utilised at this venue ranges from 2D and 3D Digital projection through to 4DX, the latest in cinema technology for immersive cinematic experiences. Whilst this review will not detail the specifics of 4DX cinema, what is immediately obvious are the stark cost differences between screening formats.
Two adults watching the latest Tomb Raider film in 3D as part of a 4DX experience costs upwards of £36. A princely sum to pay taking into account that you are paying for your overall cinema experience not just your film format, which for us included queues, delays and poor staff communication. For families, it is an expensive way to watch the latest Disney animation, a true negative against the modern multiplex versus a local independent cinema.
A highlight was seeing how well the cinema could cater for less mobile customers. Having seen multiple wheelchair users be escorted into screens and signposted to other disabled facilities – it is refreshing to see staff used to and comfortable supporting customers with different requirements. A positive experience that happens regularly in custom built multiplex venues versus older, more unique venues.
With a mainstream film programme, multiple screening times available and venue facilities that caters predominantly for young adults, you can see why the core demographic of this cinema are the under 35’s or parents with young children. It is obviously a well invested in cinema venue that is popular with customers in Milton Keynes and beyond. Yet – it suffers from the same innate issues found at a multiplex. It feels like a factory production line – the whole environment designed to get audiences in and out as quickly as possible. However, nine times out of ten as was experienced, this setup does not work, you’re left with no customer service support and a bad atmosphere. The cost is prohibitive to many and you have cinemas who are more invested in innovation in technology as opposed to getting the foundations right for a good trip to the pictures.
This cinema is obviously successful and well received by local audiences – as evidenced by the admission numbers. The faults with the venue could be as easily experienced at another multiplex chain or venue. So for that – we recommend this cinema as a venue to visit with children thanks to it’s situation in the larger Xscape site, perfectly catering for parents who need undercover entertainment for the day. Or those who care especially about digital technology such as 4DX over the film programme itself. And our key takeaways for this cinema…
- Nearest parking is onsite at Xscape. It’s Pay and Display with cash, cards and app payment options. It can get pretty busy on a Saturday night so give yourself plenty of time to get a space.
- Don’t forget to get your parking ticket validated – this means you can get the ticket price refunded up to four hours.
- Booking through MyCineworld can give you a discounted price on tickets – if you aren’t an Unlimited cardholder, this is the next best thing at getting regular discounts off your bookings.
- If you need to pick up or purchase 3D glasses, do this at one of the concession counters – don’t wait till you get to the screen gateway as they do not distribute glasses here whether you have a purchase receipt or not.
- Maximise the off peak times, the Movies for Juniors screenings and Event Cinema- this cinema offers reduced rates for both which can help if you are coming as a large family outing. It also offers live event cinema here which is a fantastic experience and for a city with no independent cinema, is the only real opportunity to enjoy something different to a mainstream film programme in the city.
Find out more information about Cineworld Milton Keynes