The Everyman Cinema chain is set to grow, as plans were announced for an expansion of around 25 new sites over the next five years, with a focus on London and the south-east.
Aiming to be a grown-up alternative to the outdated blandness of the multiplex, Everyman offers posh food and wine alongside a more discerning film selection — and regular live music too.
The plans for growth involve sites across the country opening at a rate of three to four per year with several flagship branches in the capital already identified including a 9,000 sq ft project in King's Cross.
The Everyman chain started in 2000 when businessman Daniel Broch snapped up the 1930s Everyman Cinema in Hampstead Village. Other venues in the capital include refurbished buildings in Belsize Park, Baker Street, Islington and Maida Vale.
It also recently snaffled up cinemas in Muswell Hill and Barnet that previously belonged to Odeon and opened boutique cinemas in Selfridges and Canary Wharf’s new Crossrail station. In total, Everyman currently has 16 sites with 39 screens.
The aggressive expansion over the last few years has come at a high price with the chain reporting a loss of £556,000 in 2015 even though revenues rose 44% to £20.3 million in the same period. This dip has been put down to the costs of prepping the new venues, with each one expected to recoup its losses once properly established.
The firm has also come under fire for its treatment of staff and use of zero hours contracts. These mean workers are not guaranteed shifts and can live in a state of perpetual uncertainty.
After a bumper box office year thanks to the twin peaks of Spectre and Star Wars in 2015, it remains to be seen whether audience numbers will continue to be so high in 2016 and the business model will work.