New shopping centres always cause controversy. To their opposers they take punters away from towns, and drive business away from sole traders. Trinity Leeds is a bit different, it has latched onto the city scape like a swarming bees nest, which imbues wonderment or screams depending on your disposition. Shining through the glossy roof of this new complex comes a ray of independent light, blinding all those narcissistic thoughts like spectral light bouncing off Edward Cullen’s pretty little face (jeeze)… Meet Everyman Cinema
This cool little company started life in the 1930’s in that smoggy place down south, where I imagine they rose like a Ghost Orchid through a sea of bricks, converting old theatres (Everyman Hampstead) and derelict properties, turning them into high class theatres. Over the years through rough and tumble they’ve stuck to their guns; clinging to their folding chairs refusing to fall foul of the sprawling dulcet model of multiplex cinemas. The brand was resurrected in 2008 by investors who obviously realised that cinema is not all about vast choice and turnover, it’s about experience. Everyman Leeds oozes quality. A lovely open plan pizzeria, cool furniture, old paramount studio lights, gold sequinned walls and an amazing feature pillar that creeps the scale of the building, wrapped in all your favourite film posters. Feeling right at home is important, everyone we spoke to was more than happy to be there and were genuinely engaging, talkative and excited by film. There’s nothing worse than the tongue of enthusiasm forming in the words ‘Go large for 40p?’. The greeter/barman/dude even told us to hang around for the stinger at the end Iron Man 3 and it’s that little detail that makes it all count, reminding you you’re not just being served, but you’re in your local.
Nothing says Cinema quite like…Pizza
There’s great quality food, drinks (hot, cold and alcoholic), cakes, wasabi peas and pizza! On many occasion i’ve waltzed out of a cinema and bought a slice of the good stuff, now you can take it into a screening!? Mind proverbially blown.
The auditorium/screen/hollywood window whatever you want to call it is our sanctum, where we go to forget it all and float into our dreams and nightmares. The screens have-what seems to be the now standard- Sony 4K digital projection, which is flawless. For Iron Man the sound up in the gallery was pretty impressive. You really want the bass of explosions and revving of car engines to shake your seat. Everyone has their seating preference and from the front of the balcony the view -despite a characterful slightly off centre screen and a dead pixel- was triffic.
When you think about it, elbow fighting for that little sharp arm in-between seats, or reaching over for an awkward cuddle (we’ve all done it!) only to get a rod, dig you in your ribs is bloody annoying! Gone are those days. Everyman have obviously put thought into comfort. It doesn’t take a genius to realise most people journey to the cinema as a couple, but it takes one to do something about it! Drum roll… Everyman have put in two seat sofas…. I know! Cushions and everything! Even little tables for your food and drinks! It’s these semantic details that I’ve always wanted and it’s so good to see them in practice, it makes you smugly look around at everyone like you’re the one who’s discovered the place.
It won’t be for everyone, which is a really good thing for those that really care about cinema. There’s obviously one heck of an investment from Everyman Cinema Group, which will make some think ‘how is this independent?’ But this isn’t an antiestablishment piece, it’s an article to say cheers! That someone has seen the foresight to cater for our niche, that on occasion we want quality, comfort and experience, and I feel it’s delivered in such a way that it made me buy a ticket for the next showing.
On the ride home I was thinking, it’s strange/comforting that we go to into a confined dark room to find escapism. I guess Everyman are trying to be that light in the dark place or the screen in the room, taking you wherever you want to go but in a completely different way. I challenge you to test then retest their journey and not walk out completely satisfied…unless you watch Twilight.
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