Last night I had the great opportunity to attend the opening of Cineworld in Friars Walk Newport, if you didn’t already know Friars Walk is the new multimillion pound development in Newport that promises hundreds of new jobs, a hive of entertainment and shopping plus the hope of a new era for Newport. And Cineworld have decided to take up residence there for the forseeable future, adding to the screens already in the Cineworld Spytty, twenty one screens in total between them.
I was pretty excited to receive an invite to the opening night because the hype surrounding the Friars Walk development has been unavoidable, it’s the biggest thing to happen to Newport for a long time and I think a lot of locals have high hopes.
My lovely Dad came along as my ‘plus one’ to the event and once inside the new cinema we were handed some drinks and snacks and serenaded by the Nidus Children’s Choir on arrival, they had such wonderful voices. We also spotted our local Mayor and Mayoress, and it was nice to see so many excited people waiting to see the new cinema screens!
We were lucky enough to get a little preview before the crowds poured in and I was able to take some pictures of the empty seats (which were really comfortable with lots of leg room), and the impressive new screen.
The cinema filled up quickly with the people there to support the event, including the Newport Gwent Dragons rugby team and the local press, we all sat ready with our popcorn waiting for the show to begin. Before the film started we heard a few words from the new Cineworld’s Manager Kerrie Hanbury, who thanked the many people involved in the project for helping make it a success, she was clearly proud to be taking on this new cinema and extended thanks for all the support. The Mayor, Herbie Thomas, who also cut the ribbon, spoke a few words about how great the development is, how it’s been a long time coming and that is a great thing for Newport so we should support it. I agree, I don’t think it takes a genius to work out that an estimated 11 million people through the doors in a year at Friars Walk will be a great boost for the local area.
We were then treated to the new Star Wars movie trailer, and I have to say it looks amazing, I am not usually a big Star Wars fan but this will be on my ‘to see’ list for sure!
The film we were invited to see last night was Steve Jobs, before general release. I did have have some idea of who Steve Jobs was and how he moved the technology industry forward and I am firmly in the iPhone camp, but this film really was an eye opener. We saw a very raw and intimate portrayal of this man’s journey, however we only saw a snapshot of his time, three segments from 1984, 1988 and 1998, each part in actual time. There was some fantastic acting from Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels and for me a particularly moving performance from Seth Rogan who I am a fan of already, as well as the three wonderful actresses that played Lisa in the film, I think the cast really brought this film to life. As much as Steve Jobs seemed to be, well, ‘not very nice’ with a terrible management style, it is undeniable that he had a brilliant mind and determination that makes for a great success story.
As the film progressed there was silence in the cinema, I was completely engrossed in the story too, and as the outstanding performance from Michael Fassbender continued I found myself wanting to know more, needing to find out more and having lots of questions, but that all disappeared at the end of the film, I am no film critic but I know I was happy with the ending (I will avoid spoilers here though) and the film overall made me laugh, tear up and made me think about Steve Jobs and curious to find out more.
If you aren’t sure about this film I would recommend giving it a shot and giving it time, it is worth it in my opinion, and now I want a Mac even more!
Once the film had finished we walked out into the brand new ‘plaza’ area which is lit with many colourful lights and interesting designs, I know I will be returning to Friars Walk soon, and with Christmas on the way it will be lovely to stay in my home town to do my shopping rather than travelling to Cardiff or Bristol. Exciting times for Newport I think. #Theresalottolike there really is.
Good luck to Kerrie and her team, plus everyone at Friars Walk, everything looks fantastic!
Have you been to Friars Walk yet?
*I was invited to this event and gifted entry to the film showing, all opinions my own.