A vegan cinema experience: watching ‘IT’ at the Odeon, Fort Kinnaird

There are a lot of times when we don’t think about how much animal products feature in our daily lives until we come across it. I remember the first time after going vegan when my OH and I decided to go and watch a film at the cinema…and I realised most of their chocolates and sweets would probably not be suitable for vegans. I ended up bringing a bag of my own sweets as back up. Turns out most of the chocolates and sweets weren’t suitable for vegans, but don’t let that put you down. I was invited to the Odeon at Fort Kinnaird last week for the launch of the remake of Stephen King’s ‘IT’ and I was very pleased to find that there are snacks that vegans can eat!

Note: Odeon at Fort Kinnaird invited me to watch the new film ‘IT’ with snacks and drinks for two. I would like to thank Odeon Cinema, Fort Kinnaird for the tickets and snacks.

I haven’t really been to Fort Kinnaird much, only because of how far it is for me to travel from where we stay in Edinburgh, but it is easily accessible by a number of buses from the city centre. It is also a large shopping and leisure destination featuring all sorts of shops so you can make a day of shopping and having lunch or dinner there before or after you decide to catch a film.

The Odeon at Fort Kinnaird is quite spacious and boasts its own Costa Coffee space as you enter the door. The self-service machines to the right allows you to skip the long queues at the weekend, or you can also choose to join Odeon Limitless subscription (see here for more information) for a monthly fee of £17.99* which allows you to join a shorter queue and see as many films as you like, as often as you like.

*The Odeon Limitless subscription price is correct at the time it is written. For up to date details, see here for more information.

When I arrived at the Odeon, I was warmly greeted by a member of staff who was on hand to answer any questions. With it being a Friday night, I wasn’t surprised at how busy it was and lots of customers were needing assistance. The staff took it all in stride though and worked hard to get everyone into the cinema houses as quickly as they could for the next screening starting in half an hour.

When I mentioned I was vegan, the member of staff, Kyle, who was serving us was very helpful and checked their dietary requirement book to check what snacks were suitable. The Odeon at Fort Kinnaird’s own popcorn (Sweet and Salty) and Nachos (with guacamole, jalapenos and salsa, without cheese and sour cream) as well as packets of Krax were all vegan. I was also informed that some of the Pick’n’Mix were suitable for vegan and that these were clearly labelled, but unfortunately a lot of them contained gelatine, carmine (for more on why this isn’t vegan, see here) or milk.

You can choose between sweet or salty popcorn, or ask for a combination of both

Keeping the nachos piping hot!

Jalapenos, salsa and guacamole are all suitable for vegans

A packet of Krax are also vegan friendly!

I’d never been to an Odeon cinema before, so I was expecting the usual cinema experience. What I wasn’t expecting was to see the word ‘iSENSE’ next to the house number, nor did I know what that meant. I found out later that this particular cinema includes a bigger HD floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall screen with 4K digital projectors and 3D surround sound.

If you haven’t seen any of the news or promotional videos or posters for Andrés Muschietti’s ‘IT’, it’s based on Stephen King’s 1986 novel of the same name, but this is a new film re-make of the original mini-series from 1990 with Bill Skarsgård as the infamous killer clown, Pennywise. I can’t say I was too impressed with the original Pennywise from 1990, but if you’ve seen photos of Bill Skarsgård the actor at premieres and talk shows, you would never have thought he would have it in him to be Pennywise, the creepy killer clown. I think the portrayal of a different side of the affable actor is what makes the film even more scary. When you know or have seen someone on video as friendly and approachable, but see them in a different light (like Pennywise from ‘IT’) it makes it more disturbing to think they are capable of such a big switch in personality which makes me more uncomfortable, but also speaks volumes of the actor’s abilities.

If you love horror films and want the thrill, I would definitely recommend watching ‘IT’ which was released on Friday (8th Sepembter) at Odeon’s iSENSE cinemas. I must admit I used to be very skeptical of the higher price of paying for a different screening (such as Vue’s IMAX cinemas), but having experienced Odeon’s iSENSE, I think I would be more likely to pay for an iSENSE cinema viewing of any horror films for the scare factor!

Whether it’s the shock and scare factor, typical of Stephen King’s stories, the technology used in the iSENSE cinemas or a combination of both, I definitely felt myself cringing and feeling tense at scenes you know were going to make you jump in your seat. I know for a fact that the rest of the audience had their shoulders up to their ears and laughed nervously at parts too, maybe because of the clearer sound system projecting the actor’s voices laced with fear and the creepy background music which set the scene.

The Lothian Buses number 30 and 49 take you very close to the Odeon cinema at Fort Kinnaird which is at Newcraighall Rd, EH15 3RD. For screening times, view their website here.

Once again, thank you to Odeon Fort Kinnaird for the tickets to the opening day viewing of ‘IT’ and complimentary food and drink, and to Kyle for the excellent customer service!

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