Everyman cinema to open in Durham

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The chain Everyman, which markets itself as a luxury film experience, will open a four-screen cinema in Milburngate, Durham, this winter. Odeon, one of two cinemas in Durham, currently has the high-end section of the market cornered. Odeon says that it can provide a “sumptuous feast in your cinema seat”, while Everyman says that it “prides itself on luxury”.

The other Durham cinema, the Gala Theatre, offers a more traditional experience, with its main attraction being a flat £5 ticket price – around a third of that being offered at the two higher end chains. 

A statement released on Friday reads: “Everyman is proud to announce the launch of its 39th venue located in the heart of the city of Durham. The luxurious cinema, opening to consumers this winter, will be located in Durham’s premium retail and leisure destination, Milburngate.

“The brand new location on the banks of the River Wear, with breathtaking views over Durham’s celebrated skyline, is already home to premium quality restaurants, bars, apartments, offices, and now an Everyman cinema.”

Everyman boasts an “extensive food and drink menu”. Meals available vary from hand strectched pizzas to hot honey halloumi, alongside vegan options. In addition, the venue hosts a full bar “with speciality wine and beer, delicious cocktails and a range of alcohol-free drinks to make for a decadent evening without the hangover.” There will also be milkshakes and freshly baked cookie dough.

One of cinema’s biggest strengths has turned into a critical weakness

“The new venue boasts state of the art technology, with four extensive screens and over three-hundred seats. Everyman prides itself on luxury, and the new Durham venue is no exception, filled with plush velvet sofas and armchairs designed for maximum comfort to offer the ultimate film experience.”

Luxury cinema has been on the rise recently across the UK as cinemas struggle to find their place in a world where viewers can easily watch blockbusters from the comfort of their own sofas on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney Plus. 

The latter is a true behemoth of the big screen and has previously been a huge source of cinematic revenue through its subsidiaries which include Marvel, Pixar and 20th Century Fox. Yet now one of cinema’s biggest strengths has turned into a critical weakness. Turning Red – which released earlier this year – marked the third consecutive Pixar film to go straight to Disney Plus, skipping the box office entirely. 

If cinemas want to tempt viewers who have been slouched on their sofas since 2020 back to the big screen, the prospect of a mere film alone is often not enough. Instead, they must sell a cinematic experience, complete with swanky bars, gourmet meals and plush velvet sofas on which viewers can eat their food. Thus, the meteoric rise of chains like Everyman, having been founded in 2000 in London and rapidly expanding into the North of England in the last nine years.

Image: Everyman

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