Everyman Cinema, Liverpool
Project: Everyman Cinema in Liverpool
Main Contractor: Simons Group
Subcontractor/installer: Carr Grange Joinery
Acoustic Consultant: Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design
Product: RF Floating Floor Pads
Quantity: 520m2 (2,600 pads)
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About Everyman Cinemas
Everyman Cinemas aim to put luxury back into the cinema experience, with sofas, in house cocktail shakers and meals eaten screenside. Their interiors draw heavily on 1960s design with classic G-plan furniture and mad men-esque mood lighting. They have a history of taking often neglected buildings and turning them into beautiful spaces to watch films. Their flagship cinema opened in 2000 in the Hampstead Theatre, which was previously threatened with closure. Today it is a vibrant space that pays homage to the notable performers Noel Coward and Jacinto Benavente who both performed there in the 1920s. They also recently took over the UKs longest running cinema in Islington, which has been in operation since 1913.
About Simons Group:
The Simons Group are invested in the beauty of their venues. Starting in 1944, the firm has strong ties to Lincoln cathedral. The cathedral was badly damaged during the blitz, but has retained its popularity partly due the ‘Lincoln Imp’, a devilish stone imp that dates back to the 14th century and lives in the eaves of the church. Simons then diversified, creating the now iconic St John’s Cathedral. This modernist church was a change in direction from the stone buttresses of Lincoln Cathedral, but despite being built in 1965, it has since been named ‘Britain’s most modern church building’.
As well as having an eye for historical detail, the firm also focuses on sustainable development. In 2012 they opened the largest carbon neutral and sustainable store in the world. The Marks and Spencers of Cheshire Oaks won them awards and accolade worldwide, spurring them to create the Elipta Zero Carbon Building for Glasko-Smith-Kline. They have also been awarded their own coat of arms for services to craftmanship.
About Simons Group work on the Met Quarter:
Everyman’s director stated ‘First and foremost, we are about doing cinema really, really well, and about getting people to fall in love with our venues’ – and their Liverpool venue is a building to fall in love with. It sits in the iconic Metquarter, which was recently revamped by the Simons Group. Originally built as the headquarters of Liverpool’s general post office, the building is reminiscent of a French 18th century design. Simons has done much to retain the charm of this iconic building, keeping the hand-carved façade and pillars. These have been in place since 1899 and were one of the only parts of the building to survive heavy bombing during the blitz. They were the work of Liverpudlian and Scottish sculptors Edward Griffiths and Willaim Bernie Rhind whose sculptures can still be seen today at war memorials across Scotland.
The Everyman Cinema covers 18,000 square feet, with a further 20,000 square feet for luxury shopping and restaurants. Simons has modernised this previously neglected space, creating streets in the sky by opening up two terraces overlooking Liverpool’s town center.
About CMS Danskin:
CMS Danskin are experts in acoustics and vibration isolation solutions. The company is best known for working on well known buildings such as the Shard and the Natural History Museum. They also have strong links to Liverpool, as they created the flooring for ‘A Hard Days Night’ – the official Beatles themed hotel. This involved the extra challenge of insulating the sound of conference rooms from the sound of raucous tribute acts and guests.
Everyman Cinemas pride themselves on providing a luxury cinema experience for their viewers. With ticket prices increasing to around £16 a time, it’s a priority that their sound is of as high quality as their cocktails and sofas. On the whole, films are getting louder which means increased vibration from screen room to screen room. The popularity of loud superhero and action movies is bad news for those wanting to enjoy a romcom or a period drama in peace. The floor specification was designed to attenuate the airborne sound created in each cinema along with isolating vibration caused from low base frequencies.
It was important that CMS Danskin found a technique that would stop sound and vibration within the screen rooms, to avoid transmission to other cinema rooms. To do this, CMS Danskin worked with Gillieron Scott Acoustic Design. This group are experts in theatre sound insulation who have worked on the Apollo Theatre and the Theatre Royal in London.
The floor system was designed with a target of 14Hz or better (lower) for the discreet floating floor pads. This system also required a 75mm airspace below the floating floor element of the cinema. The system comprised 50mm pads with 25mm timber battens to achieve the required void height and this supported three layers of cement particle board. The thickness and mass of the cement particle board and pads were designed to isolate the airborne and vibration caused by low frequency bass sound.
Working with the Dead Load and Live Load provided to CMS Danskin Acoustics, they exceeded the 14Hz goal set by the Everyman Cinema. The specific pad and spacing of pads determined by CMS Danskin Acoustic achieved 12Hz, when