Amazing, step free cinema experience with very helpful staff
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid
The Barbican Centre is an arts venue which contains cinema, theatre, 2 art galleries, exhibition halls, conservatory, library and restaurants. This review is for Cinema 1, which is in the main complex. Cinema screens 2 and 3 are in separate location but close by. The cinema screens new releases, both blockbusters and art house. They also have regular themed seasons.
Transport & Parking
The Barbican Centre is located in the City of London so is very central. The nearest step free tube is Farringdon. There are several buses that stop close by. There is disabled parking. The Barbican Centre is a large complex with several levels. Their website provides good information about how to get to the centre and there are excellent pictorial maps which show you step free routes from the nearest tube stations. Unfortunately the tube stations featured don't have step free access. It would be good if they updated their maps to include a step free route from Farringdon which is accessible.
The centre has excellent accessible facilities. I arrived using their Silk Street entrance, which is at street level, and slopes gently into the centre of the complex. There was step free access throughout my entire visit, with automatic main doors and lifts. I visited Cinema 1 which is on level -2. When I exited the lift there was a foyer with seating area and ticket desk, at standing height. There are 2 step free boxes at the rear of the auditorium and directly accessible from the foyer. I was in box B. It had a private entrance, with 2 manual doors. Inside the box were 2 free standing chairs, it was spacious and would accommodate a wheelchair user. There was an excellent uninterrupted view of the screen. It is secluded and private, so I felt confident storing my crutch and knowing it wouldn't be in anyone's way. I felt like royalty. All the other seating in Cinema 1 involves steps with a single handrail. There is an induction loop in the auditorium. Assistance dogs are permitted in the cinema but there is also the option to leave them with a member of staff. They have access film screenings with both audio description and captioned film in the same screening. Also relaxed screenings.
There was an accessible toilet in the cinema foyer. There 2 doors both operated by push buttons. The accessible toilet had a swipe button to lock and open it. The toilet was spacious and clean. There were grab rails and an emergency button on the wall at sitting height. There is a nearby Changing Places toilet located within their Beech Street Cinema complex with a height adjustable bench, tracking hoist system, a centrally placed toilet, a height adjustable basin and a shower.
Excellent, staff were welcoming, friendly, proactive and very helpful. When I wasn't sure where to sit the box office attendant suggested going over to the entrance of the auditorium to look at the cinema layout. When I got there the member of staff suggested sitting in one of the boxes and took me through to see the facilities. When I was ready to go into the cinema the member of staff checking my ticket went and opened both the doors for me.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
It feels like a lot of thought has been given to making the building accessible and inclusive. The Barbican website has lots of useful accessible information, including lots of helpful photos. Cinema 1 has a large screen and excellent visual and audio. At time of visiting (September 2018) a full price adult ticket is £12 and £6 all day Monday, which is exceptional value compared to many West End cinemas. The whole experience was very enjoyable and I look forward to returning soon.