November 2015, Ilkley Cinema opened its doors. Yes, right in the heart of our little town you can now find Europe’s Smallest Ultra 4k Cinema; with 56 plush seats, it’s the swish-est boutique cinema you ever saw!
(The 4k bit means 4000 pixel resolution which in layman terms means it’s a flipping-good screen).
We like our independent boutiques here at Lifestyle Yorkshire and though was aware of the new development, had decided against featuring here on the blog thinking it was perhaps too local? That changed the day we went and experienced it for ourselves.
We visited on a dark Sunday afternoon on a day of extreme rain (not the same day as the above photos) and unexpectedly managed to get a park right outside (bonus!). Hurrying in through the door the weather was forgotten as we walked into an environment akin to a bustling little restaurant.
Large glasses of wine were being poured, people were ordering food, the decor was so well done and everything we experienced said ‘welcome’.
The ‘holding area’ is a good size and so charming – it made me wonder if people were just there to socialise never mind go see a film.
Tickets can be bought online and collected over the counter (the same one at which food and drinks are ordered).
Once inside the auditorium it’s a class act.
The closest experience I can liken it to is an ‘Everyman’ cinema, (you sit on sofa’s and can have your food and drink brought to you as you watch the movie), but the experience at Ilkley Cinema is more intimate, and much more luxurious.
We’d booked our tickets online, and though we’d never sit so close to the screen normally, the only seats available were on the second row, so we took them. Unlike the multiplexes – where you spend the duration moving your head from left to right to fit the screen in your line of vision, it was absolutely fine and neither of us suffered with neck ache!
Tickets were £12 which, though at first may seem pricey to some, are absolutely fair. There is no travel, no parking costs and it’s on the doorstep. We didn’t eat or drink (dry January – oh the shame) but will definitely return where I’m looking forward to a nice white!
Perhaps the most important thing in summation, is that Ilkley Cinema adds to the town. It offers visitors something else to do, and it offers locals a new place to socialise. By its nature it is NOT the same experience you would expect at a multiplex… it creates a sense of occasion and when we return, we will certainly spend more time there.
Screenings are 7 days a week – there are kids films (cheaper) on a Saturday morning, and even morning film times where parents of very young children can take their babies in without needing to be concerned if they make a noise. I love the thought that’s gone into this place and trust that any of you who visit, will feel the same – well worth a visit!