Part of Adam’s ‘Yorkshire’s Independent Cinemas‘ series for TSOTA. View the full series HERE
Richmond, North Yorkshire
In November 2007, the Richmond railway station opened its doors for the first time since it was closed back in the 70’s, but it wasn’t, however, expecting any trains through. Instead, the station had been completely transformed into a local leisure centre, complete with restaurant, art gallery, and a two-screen cinema.
How Does It Look?
Of all the cinemas featured in this series, the Station probably has the best looking lobby. This is because it backs right onto the centre’s main hall, which with its fusion of modern design and the original station architecture is little short of beautiful. It still has the platform’s old red support pillars, which lend it a certain elegance, while tying it firmly to its railway history. The original stonework is coupled with the new glass partitions, and the Station succeeds in looking like somewhere you would expect to play host to lots of high-class arts events.
The cinema itself is also home to some interesting design choices. Rather than the commonly-seen Edwardian red velvet interior, the Station’s screening rooms are perhaps more reminiscent of a theatre; a small stone ‘stage’ stands at the front of the room, and along the ceiling are a few rows of spotlights. The walls too might be called nonstandard, covered as they are with sheets of navy fabric. This succeeds in giving it a very different feel to its nearby competitors; a more modern one with hints of something older, in keeping with the design of the rest of the building.
How is the Seating?
The seating is definitely the biggest flaw to be found within the screens. Whereas the rest of the building is pretty impressive looking, the chairs would look more at home on a coach or a train. They don’t quite fit in with the general aesthetic of the Station, which everywhere else seems to aspire to beauty. What’s more, they aren’t really all that comfortable.
Put these things aside, however, and the seating is ok. With two fairly large screens, there’s plenty of it, and unlike some of the older Yorkshire cinemas, the chairs do have plenty of legroom. It just wouldn’t have been hard for them to make it really quite good indeed.
What’s on Show?
Regrettably, the films on offer are nothing special. While you can catch a few live screenings of National Theatre or RSC productions, the majority of showings will be of pictures you could easily catch anywhere else. What’s more, there are only 4-6 screenings on every day. With another seven-screen cinema set to open nearby in the next few years, unless it mixes up its programme the Station could soon find itself competing for business.
It would be hard to talk about the Station without also mentioning the fact that it has several facilities other than the cinema. There is a bar, a restaurant, an art gallery, a vintage shop – basically, anything you might need for a cultured evening out. At some point in the near future, they are also planning to open a third screen.
Tickets are priced at £6.50 per adult, which is pretty standard for a cinema of this type. Live broadcasts are rather more expensive, reaching up to £15 for some performances. For the over 60’s, the Station also plays host to a weekly senior’s matinee.
The Station at Richmond is definitely different to other local independent cinemas, especially as far as the general aesthetic is concerned. What’s more, its various other amenities mean a trip there could result in an entertaining afternoon. It does have a few shortcomings with the range of films on show and the quality of seating, but overall, it is still a very good movie theatre.
More information at www.stationcinema.com
Filed under: Film, TV & Tech