VIP treat­ment Cin­ema un­veils its A-list makeover

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - By SA­MUEL PORT sa­[email protected]­

CINEWORLD in Chel­tenham has opened its doors to the public af­ter un­der­go­ing a refurbishm­ent and an ex­pan­sion.

The cin­ema in the Brew­ery Quar­ter – which pre­vi­ously only of­fered Imax along with stan­dard screen­ings – has added a 4DX cin­ema, a “VIP ex­pe­ri­ence” and a Star­bucks.

So firstly, what is 4DX?

In a 4DX screen­ing, the seats move with the ac­tion on the screen and there are spe­cial ef­fects such as wind, fog, light­ning, snow, bub­bles, wa­ter and scents.

The “VIP screen­ing rooms” of­fer a pri­vate lounge, com­pli­men­tary din­ing and un­lim­ited cin­ema snacks.

The new screens have the most upto-date tech­nol­ogy, in what the gen­eral man­ager has de­scribed as a com­plete “re­vamp”.

As you en­ter the cin­ema – much like Neo’s red or blue pill sce­nario in The

Ma­trix – you are faced with two choices. You can ei­ther ven­ture up the es­ca­la­tor to the main Cineworld space or you can turn left into the VIP area.

To the right, there is a new row of self­ser­vice ticket ma­chines where one can buy and col­lect tick­ets.

The en­trance to VIP lounge is on the left, where the Screen­ing Rooms used to be lo­cated. As you en­ter, neon lights are re­flected by the shiny red and black floor tiles. If that isn’t daz­zling enough, there’s a large screen de­pict­ing film clips and whizzing graphics.

The VIP lounge area is full of ta­bles, chairs and so­fas where Vips can lounge, drink and eat their food from the buf­fet and bar ar­eas.

This ex­pe­ri­ence costs £32. That cov­ers cin­ema tick­ets, food and drinks.

The all-you-can-eat buf­fet had a range of food items, in­clud­ing pizza, curry, spaghetti and meat­balls, gar­lic bread, soups, an as­sort­ment of buns, hot dogs, small cakes and brown­ies... there was lots to choose from.

The VIP au­di­to­ri­ums are in­ti­mate view­ing rooms that have post­box-red leather seats. Screen 1 had a to­tal of 30 seats, mak­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence feel quite ex­clu­sive. Be­tween the three screens, there are a to­tal of 106 seats.

I imag­ine that a lot of peo­ple think 4DX prob­a­bly sounds like a gim­mick, no doubt pic­tur­ing the cheap swiv­el­ling seats in the Mr Bean movie.

I thought this, too, so I was pleas­antly sur­prised to dis­cover just how so­phis­ti­cated the 4DX au­di­to­rium set-up was.

An adult ticket is £16.30, roughly a fiver more than a stan­dard screen­ing.

The seats are large and lux­u­ri­ous, of­fer­ing full leg room. At 5ft 9ins, I could stretch my legs out with room to spare. These am­ple black seats are ac­tu­ally raised above the ground, to al­low for the move­ment, and each of them have a foot rest on the bot­tom – so no dan­gling legs. Cineworld boast that the curved screen is “big­ger than a dou­ble decker bus” – and I can con­firm this.

I have ac­tu­ally been to the 4DX screen in Manch­ester to watch First Man, Fan­tas­tic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindel­wald, and Aqua­man, so I was ex­pect­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence to be sim­i­lar. How­ever, the screen­ing of IT Chap­ter Two turned out to be an al­to­gether dif­fer­ent beast en­tirely. Chel­tenham now has the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art 4DX cin­ema in the world – we’ve been spoilt. To be hon­est, the only thing I re­ally didn’t like was the Wether­spoon­style car­pet.

Also, be aware that it is lit­er­ally some­one’s job to watch the au­di­ence dur­ing the en­tirety of the film. The staff mem­ber sits in large red seat, gen­er­ously given a cup holder, by the side of the screen to check that ev­ery­one is OK and is not mess­ing around on their phones.

I spoke to the staff mem­ber who had sat in front of the screen dur­ing my visit, and she said she re­ally en­joyed watch­ing the movie-go­ers hav­ing fun. I imag­ine this nov­elty will wear off. How­ever, she took great pride in show­ing me the big red but­ton be­hind the seat that she can press to shut down the screen­ing at any given mo­ment. With great power comes great re­spon­si­bil­ity...

Cineworld in Chel­tenham has opened its doors to the public af­ter un­der­go­ing a re­furb and ex­pan­sion. The cin­ema at The Brew­ery Quar­ter – which pre­vi­ously only of­fered Imax – has added a 4DX cin­ema, a “VIP ex­pe­ri­ence” and a Star­bucks

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