We have a new Arts Cinema. Well, not exactly a new one, rather an old one renewed. And, as is the wont of the times, it's now an Arts Multiplex. Things have come a long way since the days of single screenings of films at the Noverre, and then out at the University. The rebuilding project has not been an easy one. Vast financial overruns are probably the main factor in seeing the cinema pass from the management of a local committee to becoming one of the Picturehouse Cinema 'chain'.
Two days on from opening and I went to see 'The Singer'. But I was just as interested to see the cinema itself. We were in screen 2, and I'm not sure if that was the medium-sized or the small room. For a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon it did well to be one-third full, but I doubt if it would have been big enough for an evening audience. It didn't feel small or cramped though, and the seating was very comfortable. The biggest problem though was the poor arrangements of the seats, not staggered at all. Coupled with a relatively low screen, it proved quite difficult to see all the subtitles. And that's not good for an arts cinema. The sound system was excellent. The projection is all digital, and I'm not sure about that yet. For personal preference I would sit right at the front (that would solve the sight-line problem), but I do find the colours very strange when I get up too close with these new systems. But it's like so many things that change; initially you hate it, then you don't notice any more. And when you go back to seeing a film projected from celluloid again, you wonder how you ever put up with it. So we'll have to wait and see.
The wonderful café has gone too. The new bar is very trendy, minimalist, chrome, no beer whatever; the sort of place you'd order a cocktail I suspect. And a small restaurant, which looks quite posh and is, I suspect, quite pricey (I didn't dare look!).
The staff were all friendly and helpful, although there did seem to be a certain amount of chaos. Inevitable really, so soon after the re-opening.