These are the first venue additions to the Barbican since its opening in 1982. The two new spaces will be situated within existing Barbican exhibition halls. The current Cinema One will be retained, though the existing Cinemas Two and Three will now be used as exhibition halls.
The new cinemas will be accompanied by restaurant and a café-bar, though a Barbican spokeswoman says they are yet to appoint a consultancy to work on interior design for these.
Peter Morris, director at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris Architects, says, ‘The existing building is a blank box with no windows, so we’re opening it up as to be visible from street lever. We’re putting translucent glazing in with gentle illumination behind it so it’s very visible and draws in your attention as you walk down the street.’
The street-level cinemas, for which each auditorium seats 156 people, will be located on the corner of Beech Street and Whitecross Street. They are due to open in September 2012.