The Barbican might be the largest performing arts centre in Europe, but it also has a three screen cinema that needed to be ticked off. As ever with the Barbican part of the visit is simply trying to find where on the whole complex you need to be. This really is a unique part of London, and somewhere I should go to more often.
The three screens are split over two parts of the site, so be sure you know which screen you are going to. We saw Godzilla in the screen 2/3 screen section, which is in the newer building. Screen 1 is much larger and in the main Barbican complex.
Overall this is a nice mix of functional and friendly. Getting greeted on entrance was pretty nice, though that is probably also because they simply need to have greeters for directions to all those who go to the wrong place. There’s a great foyer with a cafe and lots of people just hanging out with their laptops. A special word on the offerings in the cafe – a great selection of fresh buns and cakes, and pretty reasonably priced too. You need to hunt a bit for the toilets though, but once you find them they’re nice enough.
The cinema itself was nice enough, though 13.50 a ticket is at the pricier end of what we’ve had so far. Comfy red leather seats, and the more durable form of 3D glasses too. Not a massive screen, but it was a small theatre.
And Godzilla. Obviously there were amazing effects, and a familiar story. It was fun, and surprisingly gripping, but easily forgettable. I actually got really confused at one stage as to which monster was Godzilla and who was good and bad, so it probably helps to know the storyline before. And for those with strong views on female characters and high tech military equipment, be warned. This is all about men saving the world with 3rd rate US military equipment.
Afterwards I went for a drink in the Barbican gin bar – who make a great martini. Highly recommended.
So overall this is a great cinema venue, really unique. But to really take advantage of it I recommend getting there early to take in one of the exhibitions and trying out one of the bars or restaurants after.
Seats, 7. Nice enough, but nothing special.
Snacks, 8. They looked great, and tap water to help yourself to is always good.
Staff 8. Really friendly and helpful. But losing marks for a lack of good toilet signage
Ambiance 9. A cool venue, with lots going on and lots to do
Film 6 – good effects