Ben Greenwood takes a closer look at the city’s newest cinema experience
What’s on your list of things to see in the coming months? Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, Alien: Covenant, Fate of the Furious? If, like me, you’re planning on all of the above, you’ll be spoilt for choice on where to see them.
Movie-goers in Sheffield have never had it so good, particularly with the opening of The Light, which looks set to become a firm favourite with a prime city centre location on the rapidly-developing Moor.
The cinema’s nine screens and modern, open-plan foyer are reached by taking a seemingly endless escalator out of The Moor into an artistically-lit corridor of food establishments including Pizza Express, Zizzi, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and, soon to open, Nando’s. There is then a further ladder of escalators to negotiate before reaching the bright, airy and penthouse-esque top floor, complete with decor unique to Sheffield.
The foyer includes a bar area, a general seating area, a gourmet ‘Tuck Shop’, the main box office desk and even a grand piano (for the Ryan Gosling wannabes). The emphasis here is really on transforming the cinema experience. Instead of an in-and-out affair, owners Keith Pullinger and John Sullivan are looking to make more of a big deal about going to the movies.
The complex allows cinema-goers to go out for a meal, catch a film (with some caramel salted popcorn) then grab a drink at the bar afterwards, all without leaving the complex. They call this the ‘complete night out’.
Inside, the screens are very swish indeed, with multi-coloured reclining chairs, convenient tables to place your True North ale and, above all, crystal-clear sound and a cracking view.
After success in opening the first, all-digital, The Light cinema in Bucharest, Romania, John and Keith multiplied to Manchester, Liverpool, Dundee, Cambridge and Halle in Germany. Their vision to open up cinema culture to all ages and social groups in Sheffield is one that will surely be welcomed in such a diverse city.
The business partners said the culture of ‘cola and candy’ was alienating those who aren’t children from going to the movies. Their vision means that people of all ages will be able to enjoy a film with some decent snacks and a drink that doesn’t consist mostly of E numbers and sugar.
The owners are also conscious of the high number of students in the city, they are already looking to create special offers and discounts to continue to appeal to all. The project is described as being a ‘21st century town square’ built for socialising and coming together in the heart of Sheffield. A welcoming oasis away from the bustling streets and busy roads of the city centre.
Sounds like the perfect night out to me. If it does to you too, head to their website for the latest listings.