Everyman King's Cross

Handyside Street,
London, N1C 4BP

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Everyman King's Cross

Viewing: Photo | Street View

In Victorian times, London’s King’s Cross district was an important industrial heartland. But by the late-20th Century, the area to the north of King’s Cross mainline station had become a series of disused buildings, railway sidings, warehouses and contaminated land.

Early plans for redevelopment fell through, but the 1996 decision to move the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from Waterloo Railway Station to St Pancras Railway Station became the catalyst for change. The landowners – London & Continental Railways Limited and Excel (now DHL) decided to develop the land.

In 2001, Argent was selected as the development partner. The project began with several years of intensive studies and consultation with the local community. This led to a master plan being prepared by Allies and Morrison and Porphyrios Associates. In 2006 outline planning permission was granted and, in 2008, Argent, London & Continental Railways and DHL formed a joint partnership: Kings Cross Central Limited Partnership.

Early infrastructure works began in June 2007, with development starting in earnest in November 2008. In September 2011 the University of the Arts London moved to the Granary Complex and parts of the development opened to the public for the first time.

Since then, restaurants have opened, the Great Northern Hotel has been refurbished and re-opened and the first residents and commercial users have moved in.

A whole series of new public squares and gardens have opened, among them Granary Square with its spectacular fountains, Lewis Cubitt Park and Square and the new Gasholder Park.

Inevitably, a cinema was included in the plans, and the Everyman King’s Cross opened on 11th July 2016. Situated at the junction of Handyside Street and Wollstonecraft Street, this is also known as ‘Everyman on the Corner’.

It is a unique development in that the restricted space means that the entrance, box office/concession counter and auditorium are all in the same space. Uniquely, heavy curtains are drawn across to separate the auditorium from the front of house once the film shows start (and, if the staff decide to stay in the auditorium, they lock the front door to prevent access to that otherwise unoccupied area while the curtains have been drawn).

Originally, 32 seats advertised, but four are on moveable sofas which are now usually reserved for staff use. The 28 public seats (a mixture of very comfortable single seat armchairs and two seat sofas) are set out in three rows. Projection is Sony 4K Digital with Dolby Digital AES sound.

Ironically, all this effort might only be for a short period of time. A three-screen Everyman is (in November 2016) being built further back along Handyside Street towards York Way. This is expected to open in spring 2017. I gather it is unsure whether, at that time, the Everyman on the Corner will close or continue as a fourth screen.

Contributed by David Simpson
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