Due to the coronavirus, I had to book tickets for a showtime at Cineworld Birmingham. It was very easy and clear to book for my PA with my CEA card. Just above where you choose which tickets you want, there is a box where you can enter voucher codes or you CEA card number, which is very clear on the front of the card.
Getting to the cinema, there was a dip in the pavement outside that was filled with water. It was only until I went over it that I realised how deep it actually was. It’s definitely something to be aware of and look out for, especially for wheelchair users.
There was a slight incline going into the actual cinema and a ledge under the door which, depending on the wheelchair you have, could give you quite a bumpy ride. I would also say that you should be aware that I didn’t see any buttons for disabled access.
This meant that my PA had to manually open the door for me to get into the cinema, unlike the Odeon cinema which has an accessible button. However, there were many doors around the entrance and so I may have missed the automatic door.
Once inside, it was really spacious with the self-service ticket machine to the left, a Starbucks on the right and a face-to-face service with concessions straight ahead. Looking at how the ticket machines were set up; I think I could have lined myself up to use them independently.
The isles at the face-to-face counter are divided with barriers and unfortunately, they are not wide enough to allow me to manoeuvre to the side and pay independently. Depending on preference and who you are with, you may decide to order at the ticket machines instead of the counter. However, if you do wish to purchase snacks and drinks, you will need to go to the counter to be served.
The Starbucks area was very spacious and, although there was barriers, I was easily able to get around to the counter and communicate with the staff.
This counter is a lot more accessible than the counter over by the concessions. Whether you choose to buy drinks and snacks from Starbucks or the concessions counter, which you can take into the cinema, you may choose to ask one of the staff members to carry it for you if you cannot carry it yourself, especially if you need to go up in a lift to get to your screen.
There is a lift that takes you upstairs to the screens there that is quite reliable, however, the doors open and close very quickly and the lift itself is thin. I went with my friend and my PA and we just about all fit in there together. It was not the most pleasant of experiences.
After we got out of the lift and walked along the corridor to the screen, I saw that there was a standard sized disabled toilet, but I didn’t see any signs for changing facilities. I didn’t need the toilet and so I didn’t go in and have a look either.
All the screens, on both the upper and lower floors, had push and pull doors without any buttons for disabled access. So, I definitely needed someone to open and close these doors as I wouldn’t have been able to do this independently.
When we first went into the screen, however, both of the doors had been propped open with door stoppers. On the way out, one of these doors were closed and so I did need assistance.
Once we got into the screen, I found that the disabled space was good, and I had a better experience. The seating next to the disabled area was at a normal height, unlike at the Odeon cinema where it is raised. I was able to enjoy my experience with my friend a lot better because of this.
I enjoyed my experience at Cineworld Broad Street and do recommend this cinema and although I have a preference for the Odeon cinema at Broadway Plaza, because it has recently be refurbished and is quite luxurious, I will consider going to Cineworld more often.