Stars from TV's Emmerdale, the Harrogate mayor, ex-England footballers, the VIPs were out in force for the lavish Everyman launch party in Harrogate.
Such is the importance of this spectacularly, plush new cinema-bar-eaterie, the chief executive of the entire Everyman group, Crispin Lilley was there to officially open the new cinema and welcome the guests.
With a huge, brilliantly-designed bar with stunning views and amazing decor, the launch of Harrogate’s first new ‘picture house’ for at least half a century is the final piece in the jigsaw of Harrogate’s biggest town centre development for decades.
With five screens across three stories, the Everyman will take pride of place in the new £10 million cinema and restaurant entertainment complex at the corner of Albert Street and Station Parade.
And its arrival on the site of the former Beales department store has already been welcomed by the town’s most fervent movie fans.
Nicholas Williamson, vice-chair of Harrogate Film Society whose new season of films begins next Monday at Ashville College, said: “We’re looking forward to the opening of the new Everyman cinema. It’s an exciting development. The new cinema should help to increase interest in film throughout the Harrogate district. Hopefully it will complement the films shown by Harrogate Film Society.”
Famed for its bespoke decor and swapping traditional cinema seat and popcorn in favour of comfy sofas, alcholic beverages and pizzas, the Harrogate cinema is Everyman’s 19th outlet nationwide.
Boasting 400 seats, a restaurant, a bar and the latest Dolby Atmos audio technology, Everyman is the first competition in years to Harrogate’s longest-standing cinema, the Odeon.
In general, readers have posted their support for Everyman on the Harrogate Advertiser’s Facebook page, though loyalty to the art deco Odeon, which is celebrating its 80th birthday with a special party shortly, still remains strong.
Susan Myatt posted: “Everyman is great for Harrogate. We needed a new cinema. The Odean is crumbling.”
But Alison Campbell posted: “Those wanting to see new Bridget Jones, I think the Odeon is showing it. Please don’t give up on that cinema. It’s served us well for many years. I remember when there was the ABC cinema on Cambridge Road. Odeon was open then, too.”
The first movie film fans can look forward to watching from today, Friday, September 9 will be family adventure Captain Fantastic set in the Pacific North West starring Viggo Mortensen.
The first week’s programme also includes Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, Hell Or High Water, a thrilling heist movie starring Jeff Bridges, a new version of epic historical drama Ben-Hur and One More Time With Feeling, a documentary about the making of musician Nick Cave’s new album.
For anyone who makes a comparison between the programmes at the Everyman and the Odeon in Harrogate over the next seven days, it has to be said they do look vaguely similar.
Everyman chief executive Crispin Lilly, said: “We want to offer the best hospitality possible, with service of great food and drink straight to your comfy sofa seating.
“We can be a couple of pounds more expensive than multiplex offers, but think that we offer the best value in terms of the experience we deliver. “
Alex B Cann posted on the Harrogate Advertiser Facebook page: “Everyman is a good addition, and it’s also inspired Odeon to reduce its prices to far less than the multiplexes). A win win situation for film fans!”
The new Albert Street complex is the work of Harrogate-based developers 4Urban Consulting Ltd.
The building, which also contains restaurants such as CAU, Côte Bistro, Byron Burger, ASK and Veeno, is Harrogate’s biggest retail-type development in the town centre since Victoria Shopping Centre opened in 1992 at a cost of £50 million.