The Wokingham Paper

Boutique cinema opens in Wokingham tomorrow

Everyman cinema
The Everyman Cinema Picture: Jess Warren

THE EVERYMAN Wokingham is opening this weekend bringing a luxury viewing experience to the borough residents.

The small, boutique cinema chain began works on the Elms Field site earlier this year as part of the Wokingham town centre regeneration project.

They are officially opening their doors to the public on Friday, December 13.

The first film to grace the cinema’s screens is The Good Liar, showing at 11.30am that day.

The film follows a career con artist (Ian McKellen) as he meets a wealthy widow (Hellen Mirren). 

Other films showing on their opening day are: Jumanji: The Next Level, Last Christmas, Frozen 2, Knives Out and Joker.

The cinema has three screens, ranging from a 72-seater and topped by a grand 134-seater.

Each screen differs in style but all are finished with armchair and sofa seating.

Guests can book a single, double or triple seat sofa. Picture: Jess Warren

Everyman cinemas hope to provide a luxury cinema experience and do so by offering a range of food and drinks for visitors to enjoy whilst watching a film. 

There is a spacious bar in the foyer with comfortable seating and a semi-open kitchen serving pizzas, burgers and hotdogs from the Spielburger menu.

Adding a unique feel to the venue, the walls feature collaged artwork by Jack Murray, drawing on 90s film references. 

Visitors can order food and drink to enjoy before or during the film screening. Picture: Jess Warren

The manager of the Wokingham cinema, Ben Allsop, said: “The thing that makes us different from other cinemas is that relaxed atmosphere, and cosy feel to Everyman. 

“We’ve got that family feel. We don’t try to up-sell people, or push for food and drink sales. 

“The most I might do is place a menu in someone’s hand if they’d like a look.

“Once the opening weeks are put of the way, we can start getting a bit more niche with what we show – that’s part of the appeal. 

“We can then start to screen different things to the main box office.”

Reflecting on the imminent opening, he said: “The preparations are going really well. We had a dry run on Tuesday night, with friends and family.

“It was the first time the kitchen got to do a big service. We made 200 burgers in one hour.”

“Obviously I’m a bit apprehensive about the launch but really I just want to get the doors open.

“Plus, the great thing here is that everyone we have hired is local. We’ve got 30 general staff, eight chefs and eight managers. That’s almost 60 jobs for Wokingham.”

This will be the most recent Everyman Cinema opening for all of five days, until the next cinema is opened in Cardiff next week. The Wokingham cinema, is the 31st screen to open across the country.

Staff prepare to open doors tomorrow with two ‘dry runs’ earlier this week. Picture: Jess Warren

Residents of the borough have been taking to social media to talk about the upcoming opening.

One resident wrote: “So excited about this opening. It’s going to be a game-changer for date night in lovely Wokingham.”

Another wrote: “Looks fabulous, can’t wait to come and see a film in such lovely surroundings. Wokingham is very lucky.”

Other films showing over the opening weekend include: NT Encore: Fleabag, Le Mans ’66 and The Muppet Christmas Carol. 

Currently, The Wokingham Paper are running a competition to win 20 pairs of tickets to a VIP party and exclusive screening at the cinema on Monday, December 16. 

The competition closes at 5pm today. For details see The Wokingham Paper’s Facebook page. 

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