To create an open, welcoming and smart food and drink venue giving the cinema a presence on Pilgrim Street (something it has never properly had). As well as a light refreshing bar cafe the brief included a requirement for a small performance area capable of separation from the main room where film, music or spoken word events could happen lending atmosphere to the bar but being separable when necessary.
Design: The shopfront on Pilgrim Street had been most recently a bank and felt closed in and impenetrable. Newe House, which the cinema and the bank sat in, is a Grade II Listed Building and after stripping out the modern fittings a cast iron column structure with a plaster ceiling and cornices to match those in the cinema was revealed but in poor condition. No other usable features were left after the number of shopfits that had taken place over the years.
The design solution to the brief introduced a new small section steel window frame to the shopfront maximising the natural light coming in to the space. The ceiling was repaired and cast iron columns treated to set up a simple elegant shell in which to create the bar and cafe. Careful placement of the bar allowed two dumb waiters to run from the basement kitchen to serve food while the bar maintained a commanding view over the whole seating area. A ruby red cinema drape was installed to be able to pull around a section of seating at the rear of the room to create the performance space the brief required.
Furniture from naughtone, a long high table made by Raskl in the Ouseburn Valley, a bespoke backlit 'cinema' programme board made by Signtrade and the black granite topped bar manufactured by Westend Joinery all make for a unique, vibrant and popular place. To top all this the Cinema commissioned Graeme Dolphin to produce the wall installation Dialogue, hand written in pencil each letter of the word dialogue is made up by quotes from famous film bar scenes suggested by staff, public and construction team alike.