A major shopping complex in Reading is set to boost its entertainment offering with the introduction of a new independent cinema. Really Local Group has reached a deal with Moorgarth to redevelop a 4,000 sq ft space in Broad Street Mall into a cinema, music and events centre.
The developer will repurpose the ground and first-floor unit of the former Argos store to provide a four-screen cinema due to open in summer 2020. In addition, the new space will include food kiosks, outdoor terrace seating area and a café bar run by Compound Coffee, their first venture outside London.
The design, by Lyttelton. Yates, uses a bold colour scheme to create a sense of uniformity and symmetry throughout the venue. Both the floorings and walls of the food kiosks, terrace seating area, private hire room and the cinema lobby will be a sage green in tribute to Reading’s colour palate and to unify the neighbouring spaces. The entrance, café and the outdoor seating area on the upper level will be in a vibrant yellow to draw footfall to its warm and welcoming aesthetic, while the carpets, walls and seats in the cinema screening rooms will be a saturated blue.
Really Local Group creates and restores cultural infrastructure, acting as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the local area. The company’s mission is to provide inclusive and affordable venues for communities, which will be uniquely designed to reflect their locality, serving as a community ‘hub’ for the area.
This is the firm’s second project, following on from the launch of Catford Mews, which opened in September 2019. Catford Mews, a new cultural hub for Lewisham, includes a three-screen cinema, the first multiscreen in Lewisham in almost 20 years, live entertainment space, pop-up food market including a variety of stalls from local traders and a full-service bar serving local brands.
Preston Benson, Founder of Really Local Group commented: “We are very excited about coming to Reading, to enhance the cultural infrastructure offer in a town with an established creative community. Working with Moorgarth and Reading Borough Council, we hope to be able to curate a new ‘cultural quarter’ for the town and secure collaboration opportunities with local independent businesses, artisans and traders.”
Gary Lewis: Managing Director, Moorgarth Group Limited added: “We are delighted to be partnering with Really Local Group to deliver our long-held aspiration of bringing an exciting and vibrant new cinema to Broad Street Mall. This is another milestone in the re-imagining of the centre.”
Really Local Group is also calling on the people of Reading to help name the new venue. Those with a perfect naming idea which pays tribute to Reading are asked to tweet the developers at @reallylocalgrp with suggestions by the 18 February. The winner will be awarded an annual membership complete with free cinema tickets and further discounted cinema tickets, food and drink, as well as an invite to the exclusive venue launch party this summer (plus 10 friends).