Announced before Covid-19 hit, it has been a long wait to see the doors of Cineworld in Barnsley swing open. I’m so local to the new complex, that I can literally see the Cineworld sign on The Glass Works from outside my front door and it takes me less than ten minutes to walk there! So, as you can imagine, I’ve been pretty nervous about the recent news that Cineworld had financial problems and have been waiting to find out what it meant for the Barnsley complex. Would it even open? Thankfully the answer was yes!
I’ve been a Cineworld Unlimited Card holder for over 7 years – and have visited pretty much every Yorkshire Cineworld there is (Bradford, Chesterfield, Leeds, Sheffield, Wakefield, York etc). When I heard the launch date was this weekend, I was straight on my phone to plan a visit!
On arrival I was greeted with various Cineworld signs which are advertising its star attractions, this includes 4DX, IMAX and SCREENX. I was slightly surprised/disappointed that VIP was nowhere to be seen. I’ve since found out that VIP is only currently at these 5 locations: Cheltenham, Glasgow, London, Sheffield and York.
What is evident from the start is that Barnsley’s modern complex is very similar to York’s. The Starbucks is located on the ground floor, along with the automatic ticket booking/collection screens and a few adverts. Though that’s it, the actual fun is on the upper floors.
Barnsley has seen a major re-investment recently with not only this new cinema but also everything else The Glass Works has added – posh new shops, restaurants, Superbowl and the new Markets which are constantly booming. It has put Barnsley firmly on the ‘must visit’ entertainment/shopping map.
This new Cineworld has a total of 13 screens and roughly 2,000 seats. The upstairs is stunning with a waiting area surrounded by adverts and slogans. You have the usual foyer where the staff will greet you with the chance to purchase drinks, ice cream, popcorn and all sorts of other treats.
The film I chose to watch was Don’t Worry Darling (more about the film later), which was situated in Screen 4. I must give Cineworld utmost credit for a superb Barnsley trailer, it was very heartfelt and got to the beating heart of the community. David Bradley features, who is known for his role of Billy Casper in 1969 movie classic Kes and I especially liked seeing the statue along with the famous wall. Other local celebrities to appear were Graham Ibbeson, Joanne Harris and Lee Hinchcliffe.
The only thing which really struck me about the complex is how big it is. Will the people of Barnsley constantly fill out the screens? I regularly see how empty Leeds/York can be, and it was a surprise to see 13 screens in this new venue. I also have only visited this chain in retail parks, so it feels odd having it in the middle of a busy town centre. Will it be a success? Time will tell!
Screen 4 is comfy with seats which can go back slightly and I had a decent amount of leg room. Compared to other cinemas I’ve been to; I thought the front seats were maybe a tad close to the screen itself. The audio was terrific. All facilities such as toilets etc are modern and have everything you would expect.
Don’t Worry Darling has a superb cast including the likes of Chris Pine, Florence Pugh, Harry Styles. Having only previously seen Harry in Dunkirk, I was excited to see his portrayal of Jack. I think the harsh reviews such as ‘why is Harry in the film’, is complete nonsense and he gave a breath-taking acting performance alongside Florence (as Alice). Alice is a happy 1950s housewife in an experimental community, but soon things turn sour when she begins to worry that maybe this glamorous lifestyle could be hiding some very disturbing and nasty secrets.
Once it started, I loved almost every second of this script. After a year which has seen many movie disappointments and a lack of releases, I’d give Don’t Worry Darling a solid 9/10. The entire plot is so suspenseful, I literally couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. I was trying to second guess what was going to happen and got it wrong pretty much every single time! The ginormous plot twist at the end will send shockwaves throughout any viewer.
Upon leaving the elevators were broken, but I presumed that’s just an early glitch and hopefully won’t be a long-term issue. All in all, I think Cineworld Barnsley is a fantastic venue and I can’t wait to visit again.
Cineworld Barnsley is now open and can be found at The Glass Works, postcode S70 1GW.