After one of the worst years on record for cinema lovers, I’m so excited to see them finally opening up again. In particular I have been looking forward to the moment I can walk back through the doors of the Everyman Cinema in Cardiff Bay.
Having only been able to visit once due to the pandemic, we thought we could give a shout out to the cinema that had its grand opening at the start of 2020 but has barely been able to warm up its projectors since.
As you walk in you are met with an impressive bar area, dripping in art deco styled brass and varnished wood. And make no mistake; this bar is to be enjoyed (i.e. don’t just grab your Fanta and leg it to your seat). Trust me and get to your film with plenty of time to spare, as you’re going to want to try some of the vast array of nachos, burgers and aperitifs all cooked in-house. Sit back and do some people watching next to the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Oval Basin, as you sip on an Old Fashioned (yes there’s proper cocktails there too!) and soak in the ambiance. I don’t want to turn this review into an all-out attack on regular cinema chains, or the ever growing industry of streaming cinema in your home… but for me personally, this absolutely wipes the floor with both. The whole time I spent at the Everyman I felt relaxed, comfortable and suitably fed with handmade pizzas before I’d even made it to the film.
The screens themselves are the real crown jewel. You can spread out on either a plush double seater or opt to go solo and command your own armchair. It is some of the smaller touches that make the experience so enjoyable however. It sounds simple but I massively appreciated that each chair has its own side table, along with additional shelving down by your feet. This allowed me to have a glass of Bira Moretti comfortably within sipping distance to my left, and top it up from the bottle I had safely stowed out of view. I also enjoyed the gourmet popcorn and sweets, which come in different varieties like honey roasted cashews or honey comb bites. Also, unlike some cinema chains in Cardiff (no names provided here but you know the ones) they do not leave the lights on when the film starts, again a small touch that’s appreciated. At this point, the fact I’d gone there to see a film seemed almost irrelevant because I’d had such a great time sinking cocktails and being pampered, I could have gone home happy before the opening credits. Of course, I did see a film, which admittedly will have helped with the overall experience by being excellent.
Directors like Christopher Nolan may be the ones preaching the need to preserve the cinema experience, but its places like the Everyman following through on this dream. Seriously, if you’re a lover of cinema then I could not recommend it more. You’ll be looked after, well fed, given delicious cocktails and a perfect little nook to curl up in and enjoy the latest blockbuster or indie film alike. Honestly, don’t take my word for it and go out and treat yourself there some time soon.