Prague: A Cinema Experience

BY JACK BAINES

Whenever in a new country the first thing you are going to do is look for things to do, most of the time it evolves sight seeing, drinking, shopping or looking for somewhere to eat all which are great. The cinema isn’t something you really consider when your abroad but why not?

As a journalism and film student I am a massive fan of seeing films of any kind and anywhere so I looked up the best possible cinema in and around the city of Prague and discovered Cinema city in Atrium Flora, Praha 3 zizkov. Now this was the biggest cinema I could find and the only one with an Imax screen.

It was inside of a shopping mall so I was a little skeptical at first as to how big it could actually be but when I got to the top floor it had a whole quarter to its self and looked very impressive, it drew me in a lot more than the cinemas in Leicester. I decided to go with best available option, the latest blockbuster suicide squad (2016) Imax 3D which only cost an incredible 204 koruna (about £6.50) if you compare that with my local cinema in Leicester where it costs £13 (390 koruna) it really is the cheapest I’ve seen and makes going to the cinema worth it even if your not a massive fan of films.

One thing I always do is buy popcorn because I’m a sucker for it; it’s my favourite treat to indulge in whilst at the cinema, so I was ready to get my custom sweet popcorn only to be told my choices were salted or ham and cheese, yes that’s right ham and cheese flavor, now I did try some and its safe to say I didn’t really like it so I went with salted but I’m sure the flavor some people will enjoy and it obviously sells other wise they wouldn’t keep selling it. If popcorn isn’t your thing then don’t worry they have your custom hot dogs and sweets to accompany you to the film.

Onto the actual room itself and it wasn’t as big as the cinemas in Leicester but that only added to the atmosphere because it gave you that personal experience and the Imax screen was incredibly big, the film itself wasn’t particularly great but that’s a story for another day. If you fancy some food before or after your film the shopping mall has multiple food places open until 11 at night so that’s something to bare in mind if your feeling hungry.

The whole experience was very good and very affordable and I would highly recommend it to anybody in Prague if you’re looking for something to do or just wanting to pass some time of an evening.

If you aren’t a fan of big cinemas there are a phew other choices around Prague that could be more suited to you, there is another much smaller Cinema city right in the Centre of town if you don’t want to venture out to far and there is also a quite small independent cinema in town called Lucerna that is over 100 years old that shows old films and films from other countries, so you have plenty of options.

So next time your on holiday and stuck for an idea, looking for something affordable or just fancy a film why not pop into one of the cinemas and take a load off sit back and enjoy the ride.

Review: Charles University Exhibition

 

Admittedly, some exhibition’s can be a boring and tedious experience. But one about a university with such history could never be. Whether you’re a student of the University, or just a resident in Prague, there’s no question about the number of stories that the Uni can tell – and they’re all on display within the City Campus. In the under-passes of the main entrance the University has put on a complete spread of the history and life of its establishment. From physical displays of past degree certificates and medallions, to written informative texts – the exhibition gives that perfect bit of extra knowledge to anyone who enters.

The exhibition addresses an array of important time-periods that are key to the University’s heritage. Whether this was in the form of simple facts such as 1920 being the year that the Uni expanded to become Charles University, or the more complex situations – such as the 1939 Nazi takeover of the University, causing Czech students to be pushed from their studies, to concentration camps and forced labour.

Entering the exhibition on semi-unknowledgeable grounds left my mind open to what I could find out about the history of Charles University that didn’t solely revolve around its connection with Charles IV. However by being immediately greeted by one of many tall information points, my mind wasn’t left wandering for long. Detailing the establishment’s founding and progression and numerous other details, the various boards help to keep you up-to-date with all the past, present and future of the University, whether you’re a native or English speaker.

Following the exhibition round shows us through the ages, bringing focus to key members of the periods such as Jan Palach, Ferdinand III and, predictably, Charles IV. The Ferdinand III artifacts especially drew great attention towards the University’s regular changes, including documentation of the 17th century name change to Charles-Ferdinand University and many a letter of thanks from the Holy Roman Emperor himself.

However a personal highlight throughout the exhibition was learning, not only the in-depth story of Jan Palach and how far he went to protest for his passions, but his participation within Charles University. The self-sacrifice during the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia is something that’s memorable to both the University and ex-students, so therefore should be something that is well commemorated, especially as the sacrifice was by an ex-student himself.

The exhibition also displayed Palach’s student record book and death mask alongside photographs of his funeral, which made the stories that little bit more home-hitting, even for a London born-and-bred visitor.

There was something very royal about the exhibition, and precious possessions such as busts of key lecturers and numerous jewels and the Charles University scepter of rector emphasized this feeling further. Key exhibits to keep an eye-open for, although it’s unlikely you’ll miss them, are such unique artifacts as the 12th century Medieval well, the diploma and medal of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Jaroslav Hyrovskÿ in 1959 and the relic cross with remains of St. John of Nepomuk, otherwise known as the Saint of Czech Republic.

Overall the exhibition is something that is definitely worth a visit, whether you are a student within the Uni or a visitor to the city, it’s something that gives you a total knowledge and understanding about why Prague is the way it is today. Giving you an insight into secret meanings behind the University and a look at precious exhibitions, it’s something that shouldn’t be missed – especially for free.

 

Charles University exhibition is open from 10-6, Tuesday-Sunday and is situation within the main entrance of the University: Ovocný trh 3-5, Prague 1, 116 36.

Written by Mollie Mansfield

Too many thoughts…

13950840_10210027311137333_41606466_o

IMAGINARIUM: AN ILLUSION TO REMEMBER 

BY CASEY WHITING

If you’re looking a for a quirky, interactive and, most importantly, cheap way to kill a few hours while exploring the many gems that Prague has to offer, then the Imaginarium exhibition is the place to go. 

The exhibition itself is fairly tucked away down a side street on the outskirts of Old Town, but the mosaic of colours on the entrance is enough to catch your eye.

I felt a little skeptical as I walked in but the promise of a mirror maze was enough fuel to keep me interested. The friendly face at the reception informed me that the exhibition consists of three separate rooms; first was the mirror labyrinth, then a kaleidoscopic cinema and finally on the ground floor was a room of various optical illusions and interactive puzzles. All of this with the additon of a discounted student ticket (only 90 CZK!) and I was excited ready to explore.

Now, I won’t give too much away because this is something you should explore for yourself, but it was one of the most interesting things I have done in Prague so far. The psychedelic kaleidoscope cinema was an eerie and mesmerising experience that sent you into an almost hypnotic trance, leaving you feeling like a child, hooked on the pretty colours and spinning lights. 

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who wants an interesting and different experience from the usual museums and exhibitions in Prague (there is no mention of Charles the Fourth here at all!).

A note at the halls

Chun from Mongolia is a computing student at Charles University and was spotted practising the violin at the halls of residence at Pelc Troja’.