Another example our commitment to the creative repurposing and upcycling existing buildings Wren are working with ATG on the modernisation of the cinema in Woking. Now over 25 years old the screens have served the community of Woking well but are now in need of a transformation with the installation of full stadium seating, luxury screens, new lobbies, bars and cafe style concessions. Sitting immediately adjacent to the New Victoria Theatre and the Rhoda McGraw studio theatre the refurbished cinema will significantly enhance the performing arts offer in Woking
Construction work has started and completion is anticipated 2nd quarter of 2020.
Once completed the new cinema will have a capacity of 950 seats in 7 screens including 1 luxury screen and a media suite for the local community to use.
In addition to the challenge of upgrading and extending within the constraints of the existing structure, we have also redesigned the customer experience from ticketing to cinema seat. The box office resolves the conflict between ticketing for cinemas and theatre and makes a virtue of the corridor link to the foyer through the creative use if lighting and imagery.
The foyer combines classic elements of 20th centrury cinema with contemporary concepts of food and drink - red velvet symbolises film whilst the bar is zinc and glass and tiles. The void to the luxury screens upstairs is filled with a chandelier of film stage lighting.
At mezzanine level there is a stylish bar to serve the luxury screens and a media suite - a flexible facility that will house the Woking digital archive but also serve for community uses, private hire and specialist screenings
We wanted to create a space that engages with the customer. From the Box Office, the link bridge towards the Cinema and the Theatre is the main route and where we wanted to create the start of the customer experience. Through directional and ambient lighting, the journey leads up to the cinematic experience, giving visitors an idea of whats to come. Upon entering the Corridor to the Cinema, multi coloured lights frame the corridor, along with abstract flooring to mirror the direction of the lights, leading visitors towards the Cinema Foyer.
When reaching the main foyer of the Cinema, the colour scheme from the Corridors is replicated in order to keep consistency, whilst creating a warm and inviting space. The Bar creates a focal point , enabling the customer to purchase items before entering the screens. Leading off this space is the route to Screen 1 and a seperate corridor to screens 2-6, which features a black and white film mural wall. Back within the foyer space, There are number of points where visitors can stand or sit, with bar level tables enabling a brief perch whilst sipping a drink before a film. There are seating areas, varying from sofas to the feature stadium seating. The timber clad stadium seating enables an interval space, a conversational piece that allows visitors to interact with.
This also leads to the Upper Foyer; an intimate, dimly lit space for those who wish to retreat away for a quiet moment. with rich red banquette seating and a feature library for those wishing to while the time away with a book. This space also leads back towards the Theatre and up to the Ambassadors Lounge Bar. This bar serves screen 7, a more exclusive offering that the experience downstairs and in the other screens. Again an intimate space, this emphasises the experience for visitors, by introducing a bar where you can have a drink and relax before entering the film. Screen 7 is a small screen, with 56 seats luxury armchair style seats, allowing customers to fully enjoy their cinematic experience. The Media Room is also on this level, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience Woking's past and other archival content.
We coordinated with the M&E Contractors, Acoustic Engineers, Sound & Vision Consultants and the Quantity Surveyors. We have made further progress regarding the Food & Beverage areas, such as equipment for the Concession Bar on the Ground Floor and the Lounge Bar upstairs, as well as finishes and loose furniture throughout. In addition to this, there has also been progress in developing bespoke items, such as lighting and furniture.
Construction has commenced in the cinema refurb, with a major strip out and reveal of the shellworks. Work looks to complete by April 2020.