The manager of Hemel’s new-look cinema is promising an all-new experience for the town’s film fans.
Rodney Bennett spoke to the Gazette this week about his plans for the Empire cinema in Jarman Square, which will be re-launched next month following a £7million revamp.
The initial relaunch on October 9 will offer film fans nine screens, while the full re-launch two weeks later will see the venue fully kitted out with all 17 screens open to the public, seating for up to 2,266 film fans, a 281-seat IMAX auditorium, plus a conference suite and party room, as well as new restaurant units.
And on December 15 the premiere of the new Star Wars film will see the introduction of Impact, a bespoke sound system which Rodney is already excited about.
He said: “IMAX and Impact are both fantastic experiences.
“With Impact you get more bang for your buck on a larger screen, but it’s also a more advanced sound system with 160-odd speakers.
“IMAX is also a bigger screen, it’s shot with two lenses, and it’s three or four times the definition of a smaller screen.
“When you combine that with 3D, well you never want to go back.”
Rodney has already recruited 20 new staff members, and with another 15 joining next month he will be doubling the size of his team.
He explained how his background of working in the restaurant, leisure and hospitality sector has shaped his vision for the cinema.
He said: “This job is about combining my love of customer service with all our love of film
“Cinema is about escapism, and it should be effortless, so we’re looking at having conductor shifts for the managers to meet and greet customers and deal with bottlenecks where they occur.”