We went to see 'The King's Speech' today at the Richmond Odeon. Looking at their website, the word 'Accessible' was written above the showing times. I stupidly assumed that this meant the film was showing in the accessible cinema theatre. Such a popular film, I thought, and recently released, of course it would be showing in a cinema accessible to all. There was no obvious number to check this out, just the number for ticket booking. I didn't think it through. We parked not far away, which was good. I went ahead to buy the tickets. We were there for the 2.45pm showing. Before I bought the tickets, I checked about accessibility, explaining that my husband had mobility problems and found it difficult to manage steps and was told that this showing was up four flights of stairs and there was no lift. I asked about the next showing and was told that that would be better, although it was in the cinema round the corner. Ok I said, that one's downstairs then? No, she said, it's upstairs. Well then! What about the next showing? Oh that one's downstairs but it's at 6pm.
In the end, I checked with Roch and he said he would prefer to go to the afternoon showing, now we'd parked etc. I'm sure he was doing it for me, too. He knew I had been wanting to see the film for a while. I had that familiar sinking feeling as he made his slow, painful way up the four flights of stairs. At the last step, I had to really work hard to help him to the top. He rested awhile in a seat near the door. All the time I was thinking - 'Am I helping him by giving in? Should I be insisting that he stop doing these things, pushing himself?' He was exhausted by the time we got into the cinema - standing was a problem and I couldn't find our designated seats quickly enough so I just waved him into the nearest aisle seat. Only then I noticed we were sitting in Premium seats, which we hadn't paid for! Plenty of legspace for Roch! The cinema was practically deserted and it didn't take long to convince myself that the Odeon people wouldn't mind. Actually I didn't much care whether they did or not. I felt Roch deserved the seat after all the trouble getting there.
So now I have two telephone numbers so I can check out the accessibility of different showing times, in both cinemas. So that's something. No more stairs.
By the way, brilliant film. Colin Firth should really get the Oscar.