Everyman Cinema’s offer something a little different to the average cinematic experience. Rather than the usual, flip down seating with very little leg room, the Everyman cinemas offer luxurious, sofa style seating with plenty of leg room, mini tables for your drinks, and even footrests. It’s like watching movies from the comfort of your own front room, except you are watching the latest films in perfect definition on a huge screen. I love the fact that we now have an Everyman Cinema in Birmingham’s Mailbox, and on Wednesday I was lucky enough to be invited to try out the Everyman Experience with an advanced screening of ‘Still Alice’.
The Mailbox Everyman is a three screen cinema, with Screen 3 having the largest capacity, at 141 seats. From the outside you get an instant rush of the golden age of Cinema, an art-deco light up sign that makes you feel you will be able to smell the celluloid of days gone by.
Once inside, you realise this is no ordinary cinema experience. There is a bar and diner area that serves delicious food, which can then be eaten in the diner, or taken with you into the cinema (it can be served direct to your seat in fact.) We sampled some of the culinary delights, and I have to say, the house special pizza was delicious, topped with mozzarella, prosciutto and salami. We sat in the balcony area with a crisp glass of Champagne and took in the decor, with classic Vintage movie posters catching the eye.
Inside the auditorium, your viewing experience is one of comfort. The seats are just perfect – so comfortable, and with plenty of room. The foot rest is another great idea – just try to resist the urge to take your shoes off as you may find yourself very relaxed. Sound and picture quality are all good, and although ticket prices are not the cheapest available in cinemas (Peak time viewings cost £12.95 per person), I think this is a superior viewing experience, a complete night out rather than just a trip to the flicks.
Julianne Moore quite rightly won the Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of a 50 year old woman diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. Alice is a brilliant linguistics professor who suddenly has to face losing everything that is dear to her – her career, her independence, and her memories, as the awful disease that is Alzheimer kicks in and takes hold of her life. This film could be so overly dramatic and sentimental, but totally avoids this due to the subtlety of how the disease is treated, and the performances of a cast at the top of their game – with Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart and Kate Bosworth all giving career best performances.
This is a film that will really tug at your heart strings with a story that cannot end anything other than tragically. And yet, the ending is as uplifting as it could possibly be. This is a film that will stay with you, it’s real and happening every day.