Voice of the #F1 Fans: The #SingaporeGP Cinema Experience

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Clearview

Cinema Big Screen - SingaporeGP

Although I have been an F1 fan since the early 80’s, I have never had the opportunity to attend a race in person (even though I live less than 50miles from Silverstone… my whole life). Now it’s even less likely as I currently pay a Sky subscription to watch all the races live and couldn’t justify the extra spend. So, when I saw my local cinema was showing the Singapore GP live, with exclusive and free admission to Loyalty+ card holders (of which I am), it was an opportunity I just couldn’t miss.

Doors opened at 12.30pm and by the time I’d got in, ordered drinks, food and were seated at our table, it was 12:45 and almost race time with the national anthem being played. There was a real buzz in the air and almost everyone attending was wearing at least 1 item of various teams’ clothing. I would say there were about 100 people watching with me in all.

The atmosphere flattened a little as it became clear Nico was not going to bother Lewis during the race, but never the less, as the start lights went out various tables erupted as their drivers made or lost places in the first few corners. By lap 2 it had all calmed down a bit and everyone settled down for the next 2hours. Our food and drinks arrived about 6 laps in, perfect timing and I got stuck into my cheese, biscuits and pickle (it’s a British thing).

All was fairly quiet until there was a collective gasp as Sergio Perez’s wing folded under. The moment the safety car was announced there was a stampede to the toilets and it left me to wonder what would have happened at the racetrack…

During the safety car period I took the opportunity to look at some of the cinema’s leaflets that were on my table and found I can text my order with my table number to the bar and they will bring it over with a chip and pin machine, so, I decided to give it a go and within 5minutes I had another beer in my hand without moving from my seat (that’s better than home!!).

The one thing that was apparent is that FOM/Sky still have work to do on the way they record the on-board engine sound and the ambient engine sounds, towards the end of the race the levels had improved a bit and I even checked with the cinema manager after to see if they had tweaked the sound, to which I was told they don’t change any sound settings EVER! (Apparently they get acoustic engineers in to set it up for them as the auditorium is over 80 years old and has an odd acoustic fingerprint – what ever the hell that means)

It left me thinking that the Broadcaster/FOM really need to sort this out because when you can hear the engine noises they sound pretty cool…
Anyway, I was brought back to reality when the room erupted as the safety car pulled in and Lewis streaked off into the distance. There was another cheer (albeit not as loud) when Perez passed Bottas who was driving on Ice with his old tyres.

Then an almighty cheer came as Hamilton took the chequered flag.

On my way out I spoke with the management, he told me they only opened it to members only as it was the 1st time they had tried this, but he is thinking of targeting the races the BBC doesn’t show and is planning to charge £5 entrance for non-members.

I enjoyed the whole experience and I even got my misses to watch the whole race with me without her complaining, an added benefit (watching with me that is).

Being hyper-critical, since I started watching F1 in HD for the 1st time this season, I really noticed in the cinema with the picture being projected so big that the on board shots especially where not as sharp as they are on my HD TV at home, but as I say that is being hyper-critical.

So would I go again? As the Formula 1 drivers say so often… “For Sure!

If they did decide to show all the non BBC races as a regular thing, I might be inclined to give up my sky subscription, then perhaps I can justify attending a race, or 2.

19 responses to “Voice of the #F1 Fans: The #SingaporeGP Cinema Experience

  1. sounds like a win-win situation, especially if one could arrive a bit early and stay a bit later to socialize .

    • @SpannersReady Evesham in Worcestershire M8, I would have liked to of been in and seated at 11.30 to watch the full build up show and then stay for the interviews and analysis after too. I had to go home and watch on sky+ from where I cut off when I left the cinema. I did mention this to the manager and he seemed to understand where I was coming from. They got 100-ish people by only emailing their members list so if They did a bit of advertising I could see it really working well.

  2. Sounds awesome, would love to have something like that in my area especially as i don’t have a sky subscription (sigh)….

    • Try approaching an independent cinema in your area and suggest it. Our cinema is not only independent but family run so as a business they are working very hard to make it pay. Why not open up at a time when they are normally closed and sell good and drink to 100 people, we spent about £25 for 2 of us but other tables were having hot food and getting decidedly drunk, with food and drink reasonably expensive I should imagine they took the best part of £3000 in 4 hours.
      It was a shame it was a fairly subdued race, I can imagine a Bahrain style dog fight raising the roof.

      • In the states so not sure it would make a diff but severe pangs of jealousy attended that awesome write up. Though it would be tough to make it work here just because of the time differential, perhaps one day it will work out. Thanks CV!

        • Thanks @Mattpt55 it’s the 1st time I’ve ever written anything like this.
          It’s the 1st time I’ve watched a race with more than like 3 other people, so it gave me a taste of how the atmosphere can be lifted by sheer enthusiasm and passion.

  3. Must be sad that it was the worst race of the year. But with that experience it surely added a little extra to it 🙂

  4. Out of curiosity, did the theater have to pay Sky for the public broadcast or did they just take a feed and show it?

  5. Nice write up CV, thanks. I’d probably be up for watching some races at a cinema here if there was one showing it.

    • Their service could definitely be beneficial if they do decide to run with the non-BBC event idea. My loyalty card only cost £25 for the year, if that gets me in free to watch the 10 gp that sky show exclusively, I can drop skyTV completely and save a bundle of cash.

  6. Great piece, CV. Well jel. I’m inspired to see if I can get my local indy filmhouse interested. The MMS table service is inspired! Sounds like all you need is a tablet for some live timing during the race.
    Btw, cancel that Sky and get to a race, you won’t regret it!

  7. Their service could definitely be beneficial if they do decide to run with the non-BBC event idea. My loyalty card only cost £25 for the year, if that gets me in free to watch the 10 gp that sky show exclusively, I can drop skyTV completely and save a bundle of cash.

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