August 12, 2013

Movie Theaters and Cinemas in Baguio City

There are four establishments that have movie theaters in Baguio City. They are listed below including instructions on how and where to find them.

Baguio Center Mall Cinema – This shopping mall has two movie theaters. They show both local and Hollywood movies. The two cinemas are located adjacent each other on the third floor of the establishment. Besides offering cheaper movie ticket prices, Center Mall also usually screen films that the other theaters in the city won't. For example, when the movie The Da Vinci Code starring Tom Hanks and Audrey Tatuo was released, SM City Baguio didn't show it because they were afraid of the backlash they might get from the Catholic church which was opposing the movie during that time. The Baguio Center Mall, however, screened the controversial film which was based on an even more controversial book by Dan Brown. They show films that the other theaters are afraid to screen. 

One advantage of Baguio Center Mall is that they have much less customers. Often times, you will find yourself alone with just a few people inside the theater. If you are a serious movie goer who hates distractions like noisy moviegoers or dozens of flashing cellphones, the Baguio Center Mall offers you a peaceful movie experience. The Baguio Center Mall is located along Magsaysay Avenue beside the Dangwa Bus Station.

SM City Baguio – Located on the top floor of this shopping center are four movie theaters. They also screen local and Hollywood movies. SM City, without a doubt, offers the best theaters in the city. Generally, they have better service and more updated facilities. This of course translates to significantly higher movie ticket prices. And they often treat their patrons with double features. If you don't know what that is, it's a deal wherein you get to watch two movies at the price of one ticket. Also, once in a while, SM City screens indie films or other lesser known films, usually as part of an ongoing local or national festival. In some cases, these films are shown for free to the viewing public. Besides the higher ticket prices, one disadvantage of SM City Cinemas is that they often don't screen films that are deemed sensitive or controversial. An example is the one discussed above regarding the film The Da Vinci Code which they didn't screen because of expected backlash from the Catholic church. SM City Baguio is located atop Session Road in Luneta Hill.
Baguio Cinemathique – This is a government-run mini theater located at Casa Vallejo along Upper Session Road. If you're looking for the latest Hollywood films, this is not the theater to visit. The Cinemathique, whose major goals include the promotion and development of Philippine cinema, usually screens locally-made films. They also screen foreign films often as parts of film festivals. And here's the good news – watching movies at the Cinemathique is free. However, the cinema can only accommodate a few dozen people so if you don't go there earlier ahead of the scheduled screening time, you might find yourself without a seat. Also, films are screened at the Cinemathique only during weekends. Sometimes, they screen films during a weekday but that's rare.

Empire Cinema – (Update: This movie theater closed operations in 2013.) Located near Abanao Square at the foot of Session Road, this movie theater offers the latest films from Hollywood at cheaper tickets compared to other theaters in the city. However, the theater is a bit unkempt and don't be surprised if in the middle of a movie, a technical problem occurs because these are quite common.

These are the four movie theaters in Baguio City. There should be more but the others have gone out of business and converted into other forms of establishments.

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