When: Anytime you want to organize it.
Venue: CineStar Cinema, Nyamirambo
Cost: Rwf 1,000 during the week, Rwf 1,500 on the weekend (minimum of four people)
Lets face it. There aren’t a lot of things to do in Kigali. It’s sort of a sleepy city without a huge number of events to choose from each week so you’ll probably find yourself spending a lot of time at home watching movies. Well if watching movies is your thing and you’re sick of hibernating in your house, why not take your DVDs to the big screen? CineStar in Nyamirambo is a great venue that is usually available for bookings which means you and your friends could watch whatever you want in a proper cinema… certainly a change from the routine!
To book the cinema, head down there and speak to Mahmood to check to see when the cinema is available (they show football matches occasionally and I did see a sign once for a movie showing on Valentine’s Day) and decide on a date and time with him. It’s BYO movie on disc or he has a selection to choose from if you’d prefer. The cinema looks like it’d hold over 100 people, so tell your friends! Hell, tell your enemies too… they can have the seats behind the pillars. Surprisingly, you only need a minimum of four people to book the place and the place is cheap at Rwf 1,000 per person.
The cinema is the real deal complete with a big screen, good sound and picture quality and it even has plush red velvety chairs! Ok so the chairs might collapse slightly when you sit on them, but for the most part, they’ll keep you almost upright long enough to watch the flick. I heard rumours of drink holders but my seat, sadly, did not come equipped with one. But despite this monumental disappointment, I was still impressed overall.
The concession stand had only one warm Fanta Citron and one can of Coke Zero to choose from and, while there was a popcorn machine there, it looked like it hadn’t been turned on in some time. The good news is that they’ll allow you to bring your own food and drinks so there’s no need to come up with creative ways to smuggle stuff in. Pop up some popcorn at home, stick it in a paper bag of dubious origins and you’re set for a night of movie and munchies.
CineStar is located in Nyamirambo, not too far past the mosque. As you’re walking or motoing (if that’s a word) into Nyamirambo from town, walk on the road to the left of the mosque when the road forks and it’s not too much further down on the left. There’s parking across the road. The cinema actually has two screens, one on the second floor and one on the third. To access them climb the stairs to the right. Eventually someone will come find you to ask you to pay.
I thought it made a really fun and cheap night out with friends and watching a movie on the big screen sure beats huddling around a laptop at home! Give it a go and when you do, make sure to invite me!