The Wokingham Paper

Monday night at the movies: Wokingham council celebrates milestone in regeneration project

From left to right: Cllr Stuart Munro (Executive Member for Business and Economic Development), Cllr Dianne King (Deputy Executive Member for Regeneration), Crispin Lilly (Everyman CEO), Ben Allsopp (Everyman Wokingham Venue Manager), Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor (Executive Member for Regeneration), Cllr Malcom Richards (Deputy Mayor of Wokingham Borough). Picture by Stewart Turkington

EARLIER THIS WEEK the new Everyman Cinema in Wokingham was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Wokingham, Cllr Malcolm Richards and Everyman CEO, Crispin Lilly.

On Monday, December 16 more than 150 movie-goers were welcomed to the event with a range of local businesses, community groups, people involved in delivering the project, and lucky members of the public.

The audience was treated to a range of samples from the Everyman menu including their Speilburgers, and given the opportunity to watch a film on one of the three new screens.

Audience members settled in for an exclusive screening. Picture: Stewart Turkington

Showing was Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street as well as advance previews of Little Women and Jojo Rabbit which have yet to be released. 

Cllr Richards said: “I’m a huge film fan, so seeing a new cinema open up in the town after so many years is really great news for Wokingham. 

“Over 1,400 people visited the cinema during the first weekend of opening and feedback has been phenomenal. Having had the opportunity to go along myself, I can really see why. The team are absolutely lovely and with such comfortable seating and great food and drink available, I’m sure they are going to be a real hit with local people. I’m certainly going to be back very soon.” 

In addition to showing the latest blockbuster films, the new Everyman Cinema on Elms Field will offer a range of films and events over the year including live theatre, baby-friendly films, autism-friendly shows and special relaxed screenings perfect for those with dementia. 

Crispin Lilly, Everyman CEO, said: “We’re so proud to finally be open and to bring the Everyman experience to Wokingham. The team are looking forward to welcoming everyone over the Christmas period and beyond.” 

Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for regeneration (left) with Cllr Malcolm Richards, Deputy Mayor of Wokingham. Picture: Stewart Turkington.

The event was also attended by Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for regeneration.

She said: “It’s been great seeing the cinema come together. It was around five years ago that the council first started talking to Everyman about our vision for regeneration and now they have opened, joining other new businesses such as Premier Inn and Aldi at Elms Field. 

“When I last visited the site back in September it was just a concrete shell so, seeing the magic Everyman have worked, is really impressive. 

“The space looks fantastic and the bar area has a great feel with wonderful views out over the park. I suspect it won’t be long until it’s adopted as one of the places to go, even for people who aren’t going to watch a film. 

“Everyman really understand their audience and have turned a simple trip to see a film into a real experience, offering that bit more luxury and style than the average multiplex. 

“Having tried it myself, I can really see why they are becoming incredibly popular across the country and are one of the fastest-growing cinema groups around with Wokingham opening as their 32nd venue.” 

Picture: Jess Warren

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