Saga: luxurious atmosphere and prices to match
ISB student Elise Jiang is a die-hard movie fan and a veteran of over 60 cinema experiences in the capital. Over the next 3 weeks Elise will take us on a tour of Beijing’s best movie theaters. Stay tuned Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm for her comprehensive cinema reviews.
Movie watching doesn’t get more luxurious than this. Saga Cinema is a true 5-star theater in a mall filled with shopping and dining distractions.
Address: Solana Mall, 6 Chaoyang Park Road 朝阳区朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区中央广场
Telephone: 5905 6868
Bus: Lines 43, 117, 302, 350, 406, 419, 431, 499, 635, 672, 673, 675, 686, 731, 750, 758, 984, 985
Subway: Closest station is Line 10’s Liang Ma Qiao (亮马桥站), but it’s still more than a kilometer from Solana.
Taxis: There is always a steady line of taxis waiting outside the mall.
Ease of finding the cinema: Solana Mall easily located and cinema easily spotted from the central plaza of the mall.
Website: Chinese & English
Staff: Cannot readily communicate in English
Box office movie display board: Movie titles in Chinese only
Oscars go to…
The Screening room experience. The seats are soft and comfortable, the temperature is just right, the sound is never too loud but always impactful during the dramatic scenes. The screen is of high clear quality and of appropriate size… all in all, unless you’re nitpicking, you’ll find a near flawless screening room experience at Saga.
Saga never scrimps on the movie tie-ins
General cinema environment Stepping into Saga Cinema is like entering an extravagant and magnificent palace. The rich wine-red furniture gleams under golden lights, with pale white chairs and black tables adding to the luxurious atmosphere. Saga goes the extra mile in adorning their cinema with decorations relevant to the latest films such as large figures of Transformers and Kung Fu Panda. The surrounding Solana Mall further adds to the atmosphere as nighttime falls, with a musical water fountain and trees decorated with blue Christmas lights. That being said, Saga makes a great location for a romantic date.
Overall convenience Solana is a prime place for a day’s hangout with family or friends. Sit-down restaurants, famous-brand stores, refreshments from Starbucks and Coldstone, topped with a whole lineup of taxis awaiting for you after an exhausting day, makes a visit to Saga both fun and convenient.
Golden Raspberries go to…
The high prices Solana is a high-end mall and its cinema has prices to match. However, one of the benefits of the higher prices is the fact that there’s generally lighter crowds and shorter lines here.
Lack of choices in the concession stand Oddly, this cinema is sorely lacking in the snack department with very few choices in the ornate concession stand. Moreover, they’re quite strict in restricting outside food from entering the screening rooms.
The lack of drink holders is perhaps the only drawback of the screening rooms
Seats without drink holders Several of the screening rooms feature seats without drink holders. In that case, you’d have to suffice with either holding the drink throughout the entire movie or attempting to place it on the floor, where is always in danger of being knocked over.
Nice on the size, not so good on the crispiness
Saga’s sweet caramel popcorn tastes a bit stale and features an unpleasant combination of soft kernels and unpopped bits. The satisfying crunch of well-made fresh popcorn is absent. To their credit, the cinema is one of few in Beijing that offers smaller sized bags for those who don’t want to pig out.