Scratch beneath the surface of our city and you'll find some real hidden gems. So we have set out to explore the best-kept secrets and unsung heroes of Birmingham. This week, Jenna ventures to Everyman Cinema...
Tucked away in a corner of The Mailbox, Everyman Cinema is unassuming from the outside. It’s design screams ‘vintage cinema’ but it’s only when you step inside that you become aware just how quirky and cool this place is. This is far from any ordinary cinema…
As you first step into the bar area (yes, I said bar!), you are quite simply spoilt for choice: with a huge range of plush sofas to sit on, music playing, a whole range of alcoholic drinks to sample (including a host of yummy cocktails) and an amazing food menu. In fact, you’d hardly think it was a cinema at all; were it not for the fact you are asked for your seat and screen number upon ordering.
So, let’s start with the food (always my favorite place to begin!) Gone are the days of choosing between a reheated hotdog or stale popcorn. Everyman offers an extensive food menu that rivals the many nearby restaurants. It’s known in particular, for it’s legendary burgers (which are truly massive so come on an empty stomach) and pizza. Refreshingly for this gluten free writer, they also offer a decent range of gluten free and vegan options: I tucked into hand-cut fries, gluten free flatbread and hummus; while my (non gluten-free) husband wrestled with an impressive beef burger and fries. We washed it down with 2 fruit ciders, and I followed up with a peppermint tea. Where else in brum can you get all of that while watching the latest blockbuster?
On ordering your food, you do have the choice of eating in the bar area or having a waitress bringing it over to your cinema seat. We opted to have ours while we watched and our waiters brought it over to our sofa (more on that in a second) while the trailers were on. You’d think eating a whole meal while watching a movie would be a recipe for disaster; but each sofa comes with two side tables which are perfect for keeping your food on.
Each screen consists of two seater (and the occasional three seater) sofas. These sofas are seriously comfortable; the kind where you just sink in and don’t ever want to leave! The legroom is fantastic too: in other words Everyman has improved everything that drives you mad about regular cinemas: no having to stand up whenever someone on your aisle needs the loo; no getting a bad back after sitting in the uncomfortable seating; no struggling to find a way to put your arm around your significant other without elbowing them in the face. And if you do find yourself nipping to the toilet in the middle of the film? Well even that’s a glamorous experience! I even stopped to snap the gorgeous emerald green bathroom tiles and gold taps!
Because of this, everything about the experience is far more relaxing than your local Odeon or Cineworld. It tends to be an adult only audience (since it’s located in the trendy Mailbox it’s a firm favourite with the after-work crowd) and this-along with the fact staff are always available- means there’s no noise disruption at all. There are only a few showings a day (it has 3 screens; rather than the double figures of many multiplexes) meaning it’s more intimate and much quieter. Despite it’s size, there is usually a good range of show times and while there are only a few films showing per day- they tend to be mainstream blockbusters which are popular choices.
Everyman is easily to reach from all across the city. Drivers can park at the Mailbox car park (although there are cheaper options located towards the Bull Ring Area) and there’s also good public transport links. It is only just over a 5 minute walk to the bustle of New Street Station and around 10 minutes to Birmingham Moor Street. Its ticket prices are slightly more expensive than average (£13 a person) but given its superior seating, relaxing environment and impressive food menu it’s well worth the extra few quid.
All in all, if you are looking to turn an ordinary cinema trip into a proper night-out (especially if you’re trying to impress a special someone) then Everyman is the place to be!