Hitch and the Commodore

By | Category: Travel news

the restaurant or the cinema?

The title of this story sounds like a film doesn’t it? And this is a story where tourism meets the appeal of the cinema.

Restaurants and pubs will do a lot to encourage you tovisit them. Some are part of hotels; some have hotels linked to them. But what if it had a cinema as well?

The Commodore in Helensburgh is just such a restaurant. Possibly the only one in the UK to sport its own cinema, it brings in the visitors that otherwise might not come. It has become part of a growing trend where attractions and, now hotels and even airports, are providing more than the original service for which they were planned.

In Florida’s Kissimmee for example, one hotel has a private zoo as an attraction to compete with not only the other Disney owned hotels which are located inside Disneyland but with all the others scattered around the area and in Orlando.

Now the Commodore has found that having a monthly film showing in the cinema is proving popular. As there is no cinema in the town, residents and holidaymakers can drop by and sit in the comfort of the Grand Hall which is laid out as a cinema, once a month. Given that this was the birthplace of famous film stars such as Deborah Kerr and Jack Buchanan as well as the pioneer of television, John Logie Baird, it’s a little bit surprising that this Glasgow commuter town has no place where people can watch first run film releases.

A pint and a film?

After March and April full-houses, the monthly date for every film buff in Helensburgh at the Commodore now features three titles in one day. Choose one, choose two, choose them all and make life a three-reel day of it. This Sunday, for example, you can see a matinee screening of the family fim, The Croods at 12:30 which is about the animated antics of a family of cave dwellers, evicted from their tumbledown home. Contrary to press reports, it’s not a documentary about Glasgow’s Clydebank. At 3.30pm you can see the science fiction film – The Host – where an unseen alien enemy erases the memories of mankind and threatens world dominance, unless our heroine can save the day and then at 6.30pm you can see Anthony Hopkins as, and in, Hitchcock.

For those considering Helensburgh and Commodore as a base, the town offers some attractions. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Hill House is here as is the Logie Baird trail, the start of the Argyll Sea Lochs Trail, ferry trips, scenic drives and with a railway direct to Glasgow and on to Edinburgh, you can save by not staying at these cities expensive hotels. Attached to the Commodore is a Travelodge. The hoteliers concentrate on accommodation whilst the Commodore concentrates on what is does best – good eating. And now, showing good films!

is it a bar or the interval room of a cinema?

Can it get much easier to have a base from which you can shop, sightsee, travel and then return to watch a film to wind down the day before trotting just across the way to sleep the night away?

For details the Commodore click here but for the film schedule you’ll have to e-mail commodorehotelhelensburgh@vintageinn.co.uk

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