Entertainment – UGC Cinemas
wdl has been designing cinema interiors for more than 30 years. When Virgin bought MGM Cinemas, wdl were appointed to redesign and manage the refurbishment of 12 existing multiplex sites. Spending £1M per month, the projects were completed in 18 months while the cinemas continued to trade. In addition, 12 new multiplex sites were also developed, based on wdl concept designs and fitting out details.
When UGC subsequently bought Virgin Cinemas, wdl were retained as Interior Architects, completing a further 10 new multiplex sites in the UK, Ireland and Spain. This included UK’s busiest and officially (Guinness Book of Records) the world’s tallest cinema complex on the old Apollo site in the centre of Glasgow; 18 screens, 12 storeys, 4300 seats and 70m high. The largest screen is 60 x 27 feet in a 700 seat auditorium. The trusses which span across this cinema form the walls of those on the floor above.
wdl went on to create a further 18 screen cinema in the centre of Dublin, doubling the size of an existing complex by converting an office block to create café bars and retail space. A new 20 screen, 5000 seat multiplex was also developed in Sheffield; both schemes were planned using an advanced computer programme to map people’s behaviour patterns under normal and emergency conditions, to ease circulation and customer flow.