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Cinemas are changing. Say goodbye to fold-down seats and sticky floors because a new wave of increasingly luxurious cinemas are raising the game when it comes to the cinema auditorium.

Independent cinemas across the UK are re-imagining movie-theatre interiors and changing the cinema experience for movie-goers. Everyman Cinemas is a growing network of independent theatres and they describe what they offer as a ‘boutique cinema’ due to the level of comfort and luxury that greets film-goers in their auditorium. They’re a small part of a larger picture but luxurious independent cinemas are becoming an increasingly accessible offering for lovers of film.

To find about more about this evolution of the cinema experience Jack Hanson spoke to Maverick Film on behalf of Ilkley Cinema, a great example of a small independent cinema offering a luxurious film experience.

The auditorium at Ilkley Cinema
The auditorium at Ilkley Cinema

“We believe a truly unforgettable cinema experience is about so much more than just the film,” Jack told us. To create an atmosphere that encourages film-goers to become as immersed as possible in their film of choice the cinema offers a very different experience to the traditional multiplex. Sofas take the place of fold-down chairs and remarkably no advertisements are shown before screenings, as instead “a carefully selected program of short films, music videos and independent content” are displayed to ease the audience into the main event. There’s a real attention to detail in the way this cinema environment is created and importantly there is a focus on ensuring the audience’s immersion in the feature film. Access to any creature comforts a film-goer could want and the lack of adverts, right down to “rustle-free” sweet bags, all help film lovers experience film on their own terms.

Ilkley Cinema and similar movie-theatres aim to escape the clichés of the traditional cinema experience and offer something more. “Cinemas have become predictable and stale, barely changing the in the last two decades” asserted Jack, “we hope to show people that the cinema experience can be so much more than what you’ve come to expect”. Of course this improved experience comes at a slight premium, ticket prices are a little higher than their multiplex equivalents but given the increasing prices in multiplex cinemas, the difference is small. A peak-time ticket to see Independence Day: Resurgence costs £12 at Ilkley Cinema compared to £10 at a leading multiplex cinema. VIP seating at the multiplex cinema puts that price up to an equal £12 though and adds little to the overall experience when compared to the bespoke independent offering.

Not your traditional cinema snack...
Not your traditional cinema snack...

Cinema ticket prices are rising across the board (as discussed in our recent article - head on over to to read it), but it seems the value may well lie with the independents like Ilkley Cinema given the atmosphere they create. Jack told us that, at Ilkley Cinema, film-goers often praise the “laid back and informal atmosphere” cultivated “at relative value compared to the big multiplexes”.

Jack argued that this trend is here to stay- “Independent cinemas are definitely on the rise and I think that now people have had a taste of that first class cinema experience, they won’t want to go back!” Whether this turns out to be the case will rely on how film-goers feel this improved experience helps them immerse themselves in film. However independent ‘boutique’ cinemas definitely signal an evolution of the cinema experience. Stay tuned to Maverick Film for more on cinema.

By George Storr

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