Cineworld Cinema - York

Kathryn Avenue, Huntington,
York, YO32 9AF

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

In York, North Yorkshire, in 1999, the local soccer team, York City Football Club, ceased ownership of their ageing ground at Bootham Crescent, which had opened in 1932. It was proposed that they should move to a multi-purpose stadium, which they would share with York City Knights Rugby League Football Club. The projected capacity for the new all-seater stadium was 8,005. Adjoining the stadium would be a leisure complex and a community hub, with health and well-being services. (In the meantime, the team would continue at Bootham Crescent).

Planning permission for York Community Stadium was granted by the council in March 2015. This included a 2,000 seat, 12-screen cinema. However, the developer then asked for this to be increased by one additional screen and up to a total of 2,400 seats. This “minor amendment” was allowed, but existing cinema operator Vue (which has a 12-screen multiplex on the outskirts of the city (see separate Cinema Treasures entry) objected, initially on the grounds that this ‘over-development’ could jeopardise all of the city’s existing cinemas.

Then, in August 2016, Vue applied for a judicial review, not based on any impact on the existing cinemas, but on the grounds that the council should not have allowed a larger cinema than they had originally granted permission for. However, in January 2017, at a hearing at London’s High Courts of Justice, this was dismissed, the judge agreeing with the council that they had approved a “multi-screen cinema”, and the later addition of a 13th screen was a minor, and lawful, amendment.

Other delays resulted in construction of the Stadium not beginning until December 2017. York City hope to move in during 2020 but, in the meantime, Cineworld opened the 13-screen multiplex on Friday 13th December 2019.

Special attractions are IMAX and ScreenX auditoriums, and there are two VIP screens. Seating capacities are: IMAX:398; Screen 2:135; Screen 3:123; Screen 4:135; Screen 5:168; ScreenX:206; VIP Screen 1:40; VIP Screen 2:35; Screen 9:135; Screen 10:140; Screen 11:173; Screen 12:219 and Screen 13:293. (Making the total capacity 200 seats less than the 2,400 allowed for the enlarged cinema.)

Between opening day and Tuesday 17th December, all standard 2D seats were just £3 (though uplifts applied for 3D, IMAX, ScreenX and VIP screens). The opening films included children’s favourites “Frozen II” and “Jumanji: The Next Level”, romantic comedy “Last Christmas” and horror remake “Black Christmas”.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on December 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm

IMAX screen measures 22.29m x 16.81m, and has laser projection.

PhilipWW
PhilipWW on December 15, 2019 at 3:07 pm

That makes the aspect ratio 1.32. What a strange ratio; so both the old IMAX film ratio of 1.43 and the Digital Imax ratio of 1.90 are going to result in black bars top and bottom.

Whenever a standard Scope film is shown, there will be huge black bars top and bottom. This doesn’t seem like a very appealing proposition to me.

Zappomatic
Zappomatic on December 16, 2019 at 8:08 am

The stats come from a local news article so could be inaccurate: https://www.yorkmix.com/first-look-inside-yorks-giant-new-cineworld-cinema/

CF100
CF100 on March 2, 2020 at 11:52 pm

2014 planning application.

2016 planning application. (Minor material amendments.)

2017 planning application. (Non-material amendments—the only relevant one appears to be “reverse the slope of the cinema roof.”)

The most relevant application to view is the one dated 2016.

The applicable “minor material amendments” in this are:

“An increase the height and length of the commercial development building with alterations to internal layout and an increase in cinema and restaurant floorspace.”

Plans for the cinema are shown in documents “GA FLOOR PLAN, LEVEL 00,” “GA FLOOR PLAN, LEVEL 01,” “GA FLOOR PLAN, LEVEL 02,” “GA FLOOR PLAN, CINEMA PROJECTOR LEVEL,” and “GA PLAN ROOF PLAN.”

The layout of the cinema is altered from the 2014 application; the “footprint” of the retail/cinema block in the 2014 approved application is shown on these plans.

Comparing the roof plans in the 2016/2017 applications, the roof over the IMAX auditorium does not appear to be be changed. A cross-section is available; referring to the 2017 application, it is “SOUTH STAND AND RETAIL SECTION.”

Alas, this does not show the IMAX. Furthermore, it is not clear from this what the roof height of the IMAX is—there is a “lightbox parapet” marked, but it is not clear whether this has any relation to the IMAX’s roof.

The distance between “01 Level-Cinema Foyer” and the “Lightbox Parapet” is ~20m, and between “01 Level Cinema Foyer” and “R&C Parapet” (i.e., the heighest point above the other auditoria) is ~15.5m—about the height needed for a 1.43:1 screen!

Whatever the exact height of the screen is, it seems quite clear that the amended (2016) scheme was designed around a 1.43:1 IMAX with Laser installation. Perhaps it was only at a later date that it was decided by IMAX not to include 1.43:1 capability with the “Commercial Laser” version of their laser projection system? Still somewhat puzzling, for whilst 1.43:1 hasn’t faded away just yet, most IMAX releases remain at 1.90:1 maximum height.

Cineworld should be applauded for taking forward these ambitious schemes, but the random “red box” sidewall treatment is, in my view, not too attractive. Still, from having visited Cineworld Watford, I can confirm that these single projector IMAX with Laser-equipped auditoria with 70ft. or so wide screens are excellent places to see a film, with outstanding picture quality and a very capable sound system. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about letterboxing/the disused screen area; whilst absurd to have a 1.43:1 screen that can’t be filled, even more so given IMAX is supposed to be “no compromise,” it is still a large screen and the disused parts of the screen will be near-black.

[ADDED TEXT TO OVERCOME “YOUR COMMENT APPEARS TO BE SPAM” ERROR MESSAGE ON REPOSTING.]

CF100
CF100 on March 3, 2020 at 12:10 am

Addendum: The main foyer level appears to be particularly generous:

Main foyer: 727sq.m.

Screen foyer: 557sq.m.

VIP foyer: 371sq.m.

Total: 1655sq.m. (=~17,700sq.ft.)

Presumably, as with the O2 extension, a sea of black polished “sparkle” tiles!

The IMAX auditorium itself is 628sq.m. (=~6,700sq.ft.)

CF100
CF100 on March 3, 2020 at 1:50 am

Google Streetview links:

Under construction-July 2018. Under construction-July 2019.

The IMAX auditorium is the nearest part of the building in the photos, where it can be seen that the roof indeed extends above the rest of the retail/cinema block.

It can also be seen that the whole cinema is located above a thick slab at first floor level, below which are retail units/restaurants. Thus, the floor to roof measurements taken from the levels marked on the cross-section plan linked to in the previous post are a very good indication of the available height within the IMAX auditorium. 16.81m certainly seems quite possible.

CF100
CF100 on March 12, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Looks like Cineworld have another IMAX with a “tall” screen planned for their Aberdeen site, planning permission for which was granted a couple of weeks ago. Estimated screen size and link to planning application on the linked page.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater