Everyman York

Blossom Street,
York, YO24 1AJ

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FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on January 25, 2018 at 4:30 pm

I have now been treated to a tour of the Everyman and enjoyed two films in Screen One. Earlier this week I was shown around the ground floor former shop unit, Odeon managers' office/changing room and adjacent former strong room. The combined space is being transformed into a Spielburgers Restaurant. The kitchen and servery/bar are complete and tangerine velvet banquet seating (currently covered in polythene)lines the walls awaiting carpeting and, presumably further seating and tables. Tests are being carried out overnight to ensure the building’s electricity supply can safely cope with the kitchen’s additional requirements before final fitting out and opening.

The modest 144 capacity in Screen 1, the Odeon’s balcony, will be increased to just shy of 200 when the rearmost echelons in front of the projection ports are built up to ensure there are no viewing restrictions from Everyman’s signature seating. As it stands, Screen 1 at York has the Company’s largest screen and, given the vast space, the smallest capacity!

An example of Everyman’s investment and attention to detail, where many companies might consider it an unnecessary cost, is in the 1972 “mini” cinemas in the former rear stalls. Intent on providing every seat with a perfect view of the screen, it was decided to excavate below the previously sloping stalls floor and provide each row with a level of its own. The excavation has allowed generous steps down towards the screens, a consequence is that by the time the screen is reached, the space is noticeably heightened. The screens in the two “minis” will shortly be moved slightly further from the seating; at present, the front rows of these cinemas are not sold as the upwards angle of viewing is considered to be potentially uncomfortable.

During Reel’s unfortunate tenure, more than one person told me they found the little cinema in the former shop unit’s stockroom to be claustrophobic and with a “smell of hot metal”. A digital projector had been suspended from the ceiling above the heads of the audience and didn’t help matters in a space similar in height to many homes. Everyman took all appropriate steps to explore a wall cavity between the room and the first floor servery and a projector for Screen 4 is now accommodated therein and the beam now comes from a port in the cinema’s rear wall as, ideally, it ought. At a stroke, and with the help of the new seating, this small cinema becomes so much improved and seems a tad more spacious.

Just another small touch in a brilliantly thought through and incredibly detailed scheme. Everyman are to be congratulated on their conception, scale of investment and sheer faith in York and the City’s finest cinema. The ingenuity of the contracted design, technical and construction teams must also be appreciated. The building (of which I like to think I know every brick!) really has returned to its former glory this time – and more besides.

I hope all York will go along, be warmly and genuinely welcomed, regaled and entertained in surroundings of which Mr Deutsch would most certainly have approved.

James

Ian
Ian on January 17, 2018 at 2:19 am

Some photos of the reopened Everyman Cinema taken on January 2018 here (I echo the sumptuous design and helpfulness of the staff comments made by FanacticalAboutOdeon):–

EXTERIOR

FOYER

SCREEN 1 ENTRANCE

SCREEN 1

SCREEN 2

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on January 3, 2018 at 4:37 pm

The former front stalls area is now carpeted in mid grey and a platform/stage is planned in front of the suspended screen to facilitate interviews/Q + A sessions and performance.

The Odeon proscenium arch is hidden behind the screen frame which is positioned level with the first concealed lighting trough forward of the pros. Because of the type of seating used in the auditoria, two echelons are unused between Screen One’s current back row and the rear wall/projection portholes as sightlines would be restricted. I’m told the capacity of 144 will likely be increased once the two echelons have been increased in height up. Black curtains hang within the proscenium arch which can be seen by using the stairs at either side of the screen which lead to the former front stalls exits.

When the screen is blank, Screen One is quite dark and shadowy but I believe Everyman plan some kind of lighting feature here. The ground floor tiny screen which Reel put in is dismantled and will be replaced by “Spielburgers” restaurant.

The car park is yet to open and is full of skips which suggests a work still in progress to some extent.

The main foyer and circle lounge are nothing short of sumptuous, seating everywhere is very comfortable and plentiful and the numerous staff members could not be more welcoming and helpful.

Simon
Simon on December 29, 2017 at 3:31 pm

New photos added

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on December 27, 2017 at 3:12 am

Cjbx11, I suspect the first floor level tiny cinema, which Reel “shoehorned” into what was originally a stockroom for the shop unit on the ground floor below, could well have been dismantled in order to provide the new restaurant in the circle lounge with a baking/prepping space.

The reduction in capacity in Screen 1 is not as drastic as it first appears. The 1972 extension of the balcony has been removed and it would appear from comparing photographs that even 1937’s balcony has been foreshortened, therefore the space available for seating is now also much reduced. This means the sighting problems due to obstructions will have gone. The desire for a larger screen in front of the proscenium arch is possibly down to two factors. Firstly, the reduced seating area provides the same viewing position as the original rear circle where seating was at its farthest from the screen and from where the big screen did appear relatively small (the throw from projector to screen was 110' in Odeon days) – whereas today’s cinemagoers are accustomed to screens appearing somewhat larger. Secondly, the proscenium arch was reduced in height by almost 2' during 1964’s modernisation scheme and this would limit the possible size of the new screen were it to be positioned within the arch as, ideally, it should be.

Given the misguided 1972 extension to the balcony is now history, could it be that the space in the old front stalls area may yet still become additional capacity for screen 1 with access possibly at ground floor level as at Muswell Hill? 144 seats must inevitably limit potential viability when Bond, Star Wars and other hugely popular blockbusters are programmed.

michaelbrent
michaelbrent on December 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

New photographs added of the restored cinema

Cjbx11
Cjbx11 on December 24, 2017 at 4:46 pm

It looks like they have decided to closed one of the screens as they are advertising it as having 4 screens with 144 seats in screen 1, 53 seats screen 2, 53 seats screen 3 and 20 seats screen 4. I know that due to the style of Everyman cinemas there was obviously going to be a massive reduction in capacity but Screen 1 been reduced from 800 down to 144 seems a bit drastic and I do wonder how viable a 4 Screen cinema with so few seats can be.

Simon
Simon on December 24, 2017 at 12:23 pm

I’ve seen the new cinema. In a word- stunning. A complete turnaround after the non-existant renovation done by Reel. The Odeon is back to its former glory and will be a great cinema-going experience again. Support it.

Tim
Tim on December 24, 2017 at 12:38 am

Morning all, It’s been announced that the Everyman will open to the public on Saturday the 30the of December. Having had a sneak peek at the restoration the quality of the finishes is fantastic. The downstairs foyer has an island counter/bar which echoes the original ticket paybox from 1937. Missing columns in this area and also the circle foyer have been recreated to original specifications. The downstairs screens which were always a bit shoddy in my opinion have been tastefully redecorated with decorative sound proof boarding. Screen one is the main auditorium and has the floating screen which might take some getting used to in front of the former proscenium. All this area is painted in Everyman Grey with the decorative acoustic panel feature highlighted in gold. The original ventilation panels did not survive behind the boxed in areas so i’ve been told and sadly neither did the talked about mural in the circle foyer. This has been returned to it’s original double height space and a manificent trough light fixture has been restored and painted a 1930’s inspired gold.. Can’t wait to visit and give it a try..

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on August 31, 2017 at 11:33 am

31/8/2017 The former Odeon in York, now leased to Everyman, is now closed to enable the Company’s refurbishment/restoration work to begin.

terry
terry on August 8, 2017 at 7:37 am

I remember York was converted in 1972 around the time of the many ‘drop wall’ Rank venues.

Ironically, in my native North East, the first such conversion was in my home town of Bishop Auckland which must have been the very smallest province where Rank were represented .

I knew the Manager, Walter Aylen, very well and he expressed his amazement that York was converted in this manner. He did say that it was good to have an 880 seat Screen 1 (that was the capacity he stated) but that they could simply have retained the front stalls seating as an ‘overflow’ area.

I dare say that Rank had a good reason for converting York (and Chester) as they did. Perhaps extra staff would have had to be deployed in the front stalls whereas the stadium plan could be served by the normal strength?

Certainly, it would have been better for the front stalls to have been retained given what Everyman now propose to do in the main auditorium. I am sure that under these circumstances they would have done a Muswell Hill type restoration with NO FLOATING SCREEN…..

Cjbx11
Cjbx11 on August 7, 2017 at 5:15 pm

I never quite understood why Odeon gave York such an unusual and expensive conversion. If it was just to achieve a larger capacity for Screen 1 then I would have thought seating the frount stalls would have been a Simpler and cheaper solution and would have avoided the sightline problems. Or if they were gong to go to the expencice of extending the circle why not enclose the whole upstairs area and create a stadium style cinema as ABC did at many of their cinemas.

terry
terry on August 3, 2017 at 2:12 pm

I have to admit that I have not read the plans, davepring,but ,given the sightline issue, the floating screen will, accordingly, not have to be any lower than the existing screen.

At least the new organisation want to make a feature of the proscenium via the floating screen being backlit but, yet again, we are back to the absence of screen tabs…..

davepring
davepring on August 3, 2017 at 8:57 am

the main problem in Screen1 is the sightlines. With the balcony extended forward the screen had to be raised from its original position. Having read the plans it would appear that the new screen will be fixed in front of the original and backlit to enhance the original proscenium

terry
terry on July 28, 2017 at 12:50 pm

As you say, RichieA70, Odeon Barnet’s screen was brought forward and raised when Rank increased the number of screens from three to five. Prior to then, of course, it had been a standard ‘drop wall’ with the original proscenium housing the main screen.

In the case of Odeon York the original proscenium remains intact for, whilst not a ‘drop wall’ conversion, the circle stepping was continued to almost the orchestra rail thereby creating a very nice stadium auditorium.

The reversal of the original scheme, which (I understand) included the retention of the proscenium and the fitting of quality house tabs, in favour of a ‘floating screen’ is indeed lamentable………

I assume that the intention is to provide a larger sheet size but, as the existing proscenium is very wide, it is a great shame to compromise the integrity of the cinema in this manner.

I hope that Everyman have a change of heart and use Muswell Hill (which looks splendid) as the ‘York Model’ as opposed to the ‘Barnet Formula’……

RichieA70
RichieA70 on July 28, 2017 at 4:44 am

Everyman have done the same at the grade II listed former Odeon Barnet with a floating screen in front of the proscenium. The proscenium there is actually a copy of the original,rebuilt slightly forward of it in the 1990s in order to incorporate an additional auditorium.

Great shame none-the-less. There are fewer and fewer cinemas with curtains and tabs etc which greatly reduces the theatrical magic and reveal of the screen.

terry
terry on July 26, 2017 at 10:14 am

So why the change of heart regarding the opulent stage drapes and appropriate lighting? I thought that Everyman were enthusiastic about such features in their traditional venues as in the case of Muswell Hill and Esher.

Perhaps some ‘whiz kid’ has joined Everyman and the two aforementioned theatres will receive the ‘floating screen’ look also.

I detest the damned things; they are just about acceptable in mini auditoria – but in the Odeon York main auditorium?……..

davepring
davepring on July 26, 2017 at 4:36 am

the York Press has just published details of the planning application.The main auditorium is to have a new floating screen in front of the proscenium which I think would be a shame.

davepring
davepring on June 28, 2017 at 8:21 am

This is good news. I hope Everyman restore the circle foyer and remove the false ceiling to reveal the decorative frieze that has been hidden for decades.

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on June 22, 2017 at 6:06 am

Everyman are to buy the lease from Reel, they will take over in August and a genuine restoration/refurbishment is planned this time from September to December.

Everyman’s plans for the erstwhile Odeon are mouth-watering. A restaurant and bar will be provided along with reseating, recarpeting and new toilets/rest rooms. Detailed research has enabled new front doors to be made which will replicate the ‘30s originals and at least the largest auditorium will have opulent stage drapes and appropriate lighting.

Judging by what Everyman have achieved with acquired former Odeons at places like Esher and Muswell Hill, there is much to look forward to. Even the contentious and dilapidated Odeon sign high on the façade will have a new lease of life as the central ‘E’ will be restored with red LED lighting as the initial of the new name to complement a white name sign mounted on the canopy edge.

Tickets will be more expensive than Reel and we will get what we pay for, a Blossom Street cinema we can once again be proud of.

FanaticalAboutOdeon
FanaticalAboutOdeon on May 14, 2013 at 3:20 am

The capacity given here cannot be correct. The main screen seats around 800, the two smaller cinemas beneath seat around 110 each while the little cinemas, 4 and 5, seat around 35/40 each so, I estimate, something less than 1,100 in total. 1,484 was the capacity given for the Odeon, York at opening and I can only assume someone has transferred this figure in error. A great deal has happened, internally, to this building since 1937 and the “complex” of today is world’s away from the fondly remembered Odeon Theatre.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Thanks for posting the photos Ian and Trousercowboy.Very nice looking theatre.

Trousercowboy
Trousercowboy on February 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Photos from 2009 here – after the Odeon closed and before The Reel opened:

View link

davepring
davepring on June 25, 2010 at 9:37 am

Screen 5 has a capacity of 35. 3D equipment has now been installed in screen 1 and is due to be installed in screen 2