Yesterday I went to my favourite cinema, to see The Favourite. A marmite of a film maybe, but then I love marmite.
The costume, the crassness, the Colman, this cynical comedy had many c words. It wasn’t a crying with laughter film, but more of a snort along.
Studying textiles, history and architecture at Art School, I was in my element with the colour, pattern, boldness and luxurious texture within the screen.
Olivia Colman should be a national treasure. I just love the woman. Possibly a little bit more because she’s from Norfolk. We are all related in Norfolk after all.
I’m not here to review a film, I’m here to tell you about my favourite cinema and a new discovery.
Cinema City is a Picturehouse cinema located near The Lanes in Norwich, the artsy area if you like. One of my favourite parts of Norwich, possibly due to my Art School days. Are uni days always our most cherished? I think mine are.
Housed within a 17th century grade 1 listed building Cinema City is an independent cinema with only three screens. Even though much of this is within a very old, not built for purpose building, it is one of the most accessible cinemas I’ve been to. If they can do it then all you big bosses can!
Each of the three screens have allocated wheelchair spaces. Ok so still there is the issue of maybe only being able to sit with the one friend and multiple wheelchair users being a no, but that’s the norm everywhere I go. It’s not ok, but it’s what it is. For now.
All the screens at Cinema City though are accessible from the rear, meaning that I do not have to worry about the chances of being seated at the front. Unlike most cinemas, particularly Odeon Norwich where all allocated wheelchair spaces are at the front. Neck ache I tell you. That’s why I refuse to go. Make the designer/owner sit at the front for every film they see, that’s what I say. Excuse my ranting again, it’s a subject I’m passionate about. Media and entertainment should be accessible to all. Equally accessible. Not just an afterthought.
Although there are steps up to the main entrance of Cinema City, a gradual ramp has been incorporated to the left of the steps. Automatic doors make for easy entering. Through the doors you come to the foyer/box office. There is a desk, which is lower towards the end, where you’ll be greeted by the most cool and helpful staff you can imagine. This is where you can book or purchase tickets, enquire about memberships and events, and grab your soft drinks, popcorn and chocolates. All a little extra special with local produce available. On the right you will see a cosy looking bar where you can grab a brew or glass of wine and the like, to either have before the film or take with you in to the screen. This bar is down a few steps, however fear not. You can get the lift to all levels, everywhere is accessible.
There is also another entrance to the building which comes in through a lovely courtyard adjoining the bar and restaurant. I’ve not eaten here myself, only had a drink on the odd occasion. I hear it’s delicious though, maybe I should make time before my next cinema trip.
There is a small accessible toilet located on level -2. Classed as accessible, there is just enough room for me and a PA. There is no turning space, hoist or bed. It is not a Changing Places. I will update this post and review in greater detail at a later point and add to my To Wee Or Not To Wee review collection.
As I said earlier all screens are wheelchair accessible, via a lift and ramps. Each of the three screens have spaces allocated for wheelchair users, either seated in the middle or at the back, still these are limited so I would advise to book. This can be done by phone, online and in person. My only frustration is that the phone number is quite costly.
Having just three screens does obviously mean limited films are shown throughout the day, usually a good mix of new big releases and independent/arty films. If you like something a little different, a cosy and friendly atmosphere, not sitting at the front, and supporting local places, then I highly recommend Cinema City.
If all that isn’t enough to justify this being my favourite cinema then this latest discovery does.
On my latest visit to see The Favourite I went to purchase a brew from the quirky little café situated within Cinema City, because what other beverage would you have to chill out and watch a film?! As you’re probably aware, to drink independently I require a lightweight cup and some form of straw. This usually means I ask for a takeaway cup and plastic straw (unless I bring my own), resulting in me feeling guilty for yet again destroying another piece of planet earth every time I hydrate. Not this time though. No. I was handed my tea in a paper cup which stated that the whole thing was indeed completely compostable, including the lid. Declaring in tiny writing on the seam of the cardboard that this cup is made from ‘plants not plastic’. Really it should be shouting it out in capital letters all over the thing if you ask me. As large chain coffee shops (cough, Starbucks) could take a leaf (ha!) from this cups book. Rather than charge the customer extra for the inconvenience of using plastic. To add to my excitement even more, nearly tipping me over the edge, was a wooden container on the bar full of green straws. The straws boasted that they were 100% biodegradable. I helped myself, well my PA helped myself, to one of these trickster straws. They looked just like a plastic straw, felt just like a plastic straw, bent just like a plastic straw, sucked just like a plastic straw. Ok, so basically they were the perfect replacement for me, a plastic straw mirage.
I drank my decaffeinated tea (they also provide decaf, big tick there) in complete serenity. No guilt, no fear of side glances from those saving the world.
By the way I do want to save the world too, and all it’s prettiness. All I ask for is a guilt free straw. Now I know it’s possible…