‘So, where can you enjoy a cinematic experience…where the cinema feels almost like a home from home?’ Well, according to their website, an Everyman cinema is where. It’s a bold claim, but the group’s Baker Street branch certainly tries its best. Small and cosy, with exceedingly welcoming staff, a lovely selection of food and drinks (including a nice culpa or a fresh mint tea, hot food and frozen yoghurt with fresh fruit for afters), comfy seats and intimate screens this is the only cinema I’ve wanted to hang around in after the film for another drink and a catch up with Colin. As nice as some other places have been, once the show’s over it’s time to go, but here we felt welcome and able to relax in the small bar area. This all chimes with the Everyman claim to champion independent cinema and its uncorporate image which puts individual customers first, so I was slightly disconcerted to read online that the group is actually owned by a group of private shareholders who have been criticised for use of zero hours contracts. Nevertheless, the chain of 10 cinemas across the UK are consistently rated amongst the best by cinemagoers and I can certainly see why. This place is great.
Great, but small. On a quiet Tuesday night, this only added to the sense of a very personal experience, but when sold out, it could get a little uncomfortable. Seats are velvet-covered and comfy, with lots of leg room, side tables for those nice cups of tea, and spaces to store bags. I was sitting on the end of a row, slightly tucked behind a pillar. Although initially awkward, having no-one in front of me meant an unimpaired view, but add an average height head and it would be a different story. Likewise, the bathrooms were very nice, but impossible for more than one person. Also, one of my personal bugbears: a hand dryer too weak to work. Honestly, if it’s not putting out enough air to blow out a birthday candle, why bother?
We had a choice of two films: Calvary (billed as a black comedy about Irish Catholic priests, small towns and abuse – sounded ‘hilarious’) and Bad Neighbours (new parents vs frat house, from ‘the guys who brought you This Is The End!’). We went for the easy option and enjoyed Bad Neighbours in a generally harmless, but-I-never-need-to-see-this-film-again kind of way. Colin liked it more than I did and it’s a film clearly aimed at a male crowd, despite the surprisingly decent female lead played well by Rose Byrne. Actually, the acting was pretty good and there were some great jokes (the best showcasing excellent use of an airbag) not entirely spoilt by having all been in the trailer. The repeated dick-jokes and crass depiction of college girls was disappointing but, sadly, standard.
Film aside, I can only repeat that this cinema is great. As soon as this tube-based odyssey is over, I’ll be back.
How comfy were the seats? 7/10
How good were the snacks? 9/10
How nice were the staff? 10/10
How sticky were the floors? 8/10
How great was the ambience? 9/10
How much did we like the film? 5/10