The new eight-screen cinema, built on the former Waves Leisure Centre for Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is the latest part of the borough’s scheme to regenerate the town centre and the night-time economy. The new complex makes a positive contribution to the urban landscape as it fills a prominent site between a number of significant existing buildings.
The single storey cinema has a bar and snack units complemented by an under-croft car park and a public realm outdoor space linking the Northgate, King George’s Hall and Blackburn College area of town. Cinema-goers will be able to enjoy cutting edge Dolby 7.1 surround sound paired with Barco 2K projectors for the perfect cinematic experience. Reel Cinema Blackburn boasts 5 Premiere Lounge screens featuring large leather seats, as well as 2 Reel Lounges equipped with plush sofas and extra legroom for the ultimate film experience.
The design appearance of the cinema is modern yet simple. The site is located within the Northgate Conservation area and adjacent to a listed building therefore the materials used are respectful of the existing surrounding buildings. This approach allows a modern building to sit within the context of the Technology & Design College and King .Georges Hall. The glazed entrance foyer is designed to provide an obvious active frontage and impressive entrance with a large canopy design which protrudes out to the public realm and also acts as a way of navigation to the area creating a focal point.
The main cinema structure is designed with a low-level brickwork plinth in a buff colour to complement the surrounding stone and upper sections of the cinema in a textured cladding which will be finished in a colour to tone in with the surrounding red brickwork. The entrance elevation is set lower than the main structure and is formed with curtain walling, the roof overhang continues over the top and wraps down at the car park end to form a ‘book end’.
This ‘overhang’ is clad with a pale gold material will be anodised aluminum sheet, this choice of colour is intended to achieve a tone which sits with the adjacent buildings (Gold cladding to the leisure centre and Feilden Street Car Park) and the choice of material to harmonise with the nearby College building.