PULSE THE MAGAZINE FOR THOSE WHO MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN - EDITION 06 - WINTER 2011
THE RESULTS: ROUND TWO
Faces of ANDY BUSH, NATIONAL OPERATIONS MGR
Portfolio HEAD OFFICE GO BACK TO THE FLOOR
Behind The Scenes AT THE CADBURY’S FACTORY
Star Spotting.... CELEBRITY VISITS TO OUR CINEMAS
Films in focus PUSS IN BOOTS/ SHERLOCK HOLMES/ MI4/ J EDGAR/ SAFE HOUSE/ WAR HORSE /THE WOMAN IN BLACK/ STAR WARS/ THE MUPPETS
HELPING YOU TO DELIVER
DON’T KNOCK IT
UNTIL YOU’VE TRIED IT
LIPTON ICE TEA. DRINK POSITIVE
Letter from Roz I hope you enjoy this super winter edition of Pulse. There is so much going on at Empire Cinemas at the moment, we can barely fit it all in! There are so many great features to mention but top highlights for me include the interview with National Operations Manager, Andy Bush. We also have details of our Head Office team going ‘Back to the Floor’ and working at cinemas over half term. In this edition we share your views on what you think of working for us plus your ideas for future editions of Pulse. We also have details on what our customers think of the improvements we’ve been making with the Your Opinion Matters latest results. A big thank you for completing the questionnaire and giving the YOM cards out in October. Check out pages 12, 13 and 14 to see whether you’ve boosted your cinema up the YOM leader board. Have a great Christmas and New Year and see you in the spring.
It’s wicked to see Empire Cinemas are trying different nacho toppings. Read page 6 & 7 to find out about the new treats for our tummies!
The care-free student
THE PALMER FAMILY The typical family
The trip behind the scenes at Cadbury ’s World on page 16&17 looks like a fun day out we might enjoy. We’ve also been ra cking our brains in Competitio n Corner on pages 40&41.
We’re pleased you are investing in the chairs and carpets, read page 4 for Paul Baxter’s yearly review for more details. Also, we read on page 26 about how you care what’s important to us and how much you are investing in our cinema experience.
DAN & SARAH The romantic couple
I love a trip down memory lane and on page 15 there are some great films from years gone by.
BERYL Retired senior ut which coming o s . lm fi f o s 31 to 39 ad There’s lo about on pages t I can’t u read ung for b you can I’m too yo ts 3D h ic h w f Some o uss in Boo wait for P
The typical teen
Produced by: BA (Hons) Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing Editor: Helen Archard Design: Emma Curran/Patricia Pribolova Writers: Kelly Woolford/ Hannah Lawrence/ Kirsty Welsh Alice Bagnall/ Ed Bailey/ Cathy Greig/ Summer Grant
I just love Paddy McGuiness. I can’t believe your staff got a chance to see him live plus get wined and dined too. Read about Chris and Sandra’s adventure on page 8 & 9
JANE & FRIENDS Sociable best friends WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 3
PULSE PAUL’S LETTER
The end of another year and already, 2011 has been a really busy year not just on the admissions front but across all areas of the business. As I type, we have just finished another busy half term and it looks like we will finish the year just ahead of budget on admissions and box office - and we will finish well ahead of the UK on admissions - so, in anticipation, well done and thank you for your efforts in making it another successful year. Looking back at the last 12 months it’s been a year of: Records We have had our 3 busiest days ever! 63410 - Tuesday August 23rd - The Inbetweeners - who saw that one coming and on a Tuesday! 61850 -Saturday July - the end of an era the final instalment of Harry Potter, thank you JK 60249 - Tuesday February 22nd - Paul, Gnomeo and Juliet Events Held 16 major premieres at The Empire Regional Harry Potter Premieres in Newcastle and Great Park Hosted Film 4 Fright Fest Ben & Jerry’s Free Cone day Surprise hits We pride ourselves on our film knowledge and ability to forecast our business but we certainly didn’t see Kings Speech, Inbetweeners and The Smurfs! taking what they did. Investment As you will see on page 26 we have continued to invest across our business Our investment hasn’t just been in the physical things we have been working hard to take the Big E to the next level and our focus has been upon improving our performance. We have developed Lighting Up Performance which has seen spotlight checks and management reviews introduced to the business over the last 6 months. The other thing on the Big E front was the launch of “Your Opinion Matters” where, for the first time, we have been giving our customers the chance to tell us how we are doing. The results have been generally very encouraging and our customers have given us loads of great feedback on the areas in which we can do better, so watch this space for new developments. Finally, looking back at all our fantastic achievements this year, I have to say a massive thank you to all of you as none of this would have been possible without your fantastic hard work and support over the last 12 months 2012 Looking into the crystal ball at 2012 we can be certain of a number of things, we will have some fantastic weeks and there will be some great films, there will be some that fail to hit expectations but we also have a big unknown - The Olympic games. How is this once in a lifetime event going to impact us, well the jury is out at the moment. Personally I think that overall it will be a positive for us, it will present challenges for individual days but overall the feel good factor it will give the country will give a boost to all businesses. Films The year starts with a bang (or several) with the return of Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol, and Daniel Craig in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, then we move into the first half term with the return of The Muppets and the latest Star Wars Episode 1 3D. At the end of the year I am fascinated to see how the Life of Pi turns out on the big screen and of course at the end of the year we have the latest Bond film - Skyfall and The Hobbit and I am sure loads of unexpected surprises, I wonder what’s going to be the year’s Kings Speech or Inbetweeners? Whatever the film we need to ensure that we can Make It Personal for every customer on every visit. Once again we have some significant investment plans in place, our major refit of Newcastle continues, we will be fully digital in all screens by the summer and we are currently finalising the lease on our first new cinema - so watch this space. This investment will also be matched in our drive towards World Class service - following hot on the heels of LUP will be our Experience Management programme. Thank you again for all your hard work in making Empire Cinemas what it is today and to wish you and your families a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year. Paul Baxter Operations Director
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6-7 8-9 10 11
12-14 15 16-17 18-19 20 21 22-23 24-25 26 27 28-29 31-39 40-41 42-43
PULSE PRODUCTS NEW NACHO TOPPINGS SILVER E HAVE YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES? CHARITY FITNESS UPDATE FACES OF EMPIRE ANDY BUSH YOUR OPINION MATTERS SURVEY RESULTS FILM FOR THOUGHT CLASSIC FILMS BEHIND THE SCENES AT CADBURY’S CINEMA IN FOCUS WIGAN STAFF PROFILE DAVID NORRIS TEAM BLOG BROMLEY PULSE QUESTIONAIRRE YOUR FEEDBACK CUSTOMER FEEDBACK LETTERS INVESTMENT IN CINEMA EMPIRE IMPROVEMENTS CLIMBING THE LADDER EMPIRE’S MOVERS AND SHAKERS BACK TO THE FLOOR HEAD OFFICE FILMS IN FOCUS REVIEWS COMPETITION CORNER CELEBRITY SPOTTING
10 20 32
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 5
NEW NACHO & HOTDOG toppings We are looking to offer more choice to our customers on the Nachos and Hot Dog toppings, allowing them to make their food more personal. We have been researching many different companies, the key driver being quality. We have chosen two new ranges to trial in the coming months, Primula dips for Nachos and Branston Relishes for the Hot Dogs 06 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
PRIMULA SOUR CREAM AND CHIVE DIP
PRIMULA ROASTED GARLIC DIP
Branston Relish Range A creamy dip made with fire roasted garlic and herbs. Can be kept in the store cupboard, but tastes best when served chilled.
To go with the hot dogs we are going to expand the selection of sauces to include the Branston Relish range. They come in several great flavours including Sweet Onion, Sweetcorn & Red Pepper, Gherkin and Tomato & Curry Spices.
What would you like to see as a topping for your hot dog or nachos? Let us know at email@example.com The new condiments counters
A rich & creamy sour cream dip with chives. Both toppings will available in individual portion pots and will be in cinemas soon.
To serve these items we will look to install relish dispensers on a separate condiment station. This will allow customers to tailor their hot dogs whilst collecting napkins, straws and sugar for their drinks. Moving customers away from the counter to collect these items will help you to serve the next customer faster and hopefully reduce the mess that gets left behind! The first unit will be going into Swindon in December and after a test period will roll out to more cinemas.
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 07
Meet our stars Letitia Clarke
Letitia Clarke, from Empire Great Park, has become one of the latest employees to be awarded the Silver E and show commitment in delivering the Big E to our customers. She discovered her success when she received a phone call at home from her General Manager, Leon Fairbank. “I wasn’t even aware of the nomination,” explained Letitia. “Leon phoned me up and asked how I was. I was convinced he was ringing me to come in and cover a shift. Instead, he proceeded to say congratulations and informed me that I had won a Silver E. I was shocked and I couldn’t stop smiling!” Letitia received tickets to the Johnny English 2 premiere as a reward for all her hard work in providing an excellent customer experience. “I enjoyed watching the stars arrive on the red carpet and being able to walk up to
them was surreal,” said Letitia. “I was looked after very well by Lisa who offered me refreshments and food. The high standard of the cinema was outstanding, with lovely lights and an amazing screen.” Letitia describes her biggest achievement within her job so far as: “getting the Silver E and when customers thank me for listening to how their day was.”
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Silver E winner Letitia Clarke
Silver E Top Tips...
Silver E winner Craig Coleville receiving his award from Andy Bush
Why you should nominate Silver E’s...
Craig arrived to work expecting a normal day at Empire Clydebank and was instead greeted with an envelope, presented by General Manager, Andrew Rapson, containing his exciting nomination as a Silver E. “I was very happy to discover that I had been nominated, it was very unexpected,” he said. This was not his only burst of luck as our newbie was also drawn as the winner of the Silver E prize draw for this quarter. Up for grabs were tickets to see Bolton comedian Paddy McGuiness in a box seat with complimentary food and drink. Unfortunately Craig was unable to attend the Paddy McGuiness gig and graciously asked for the tickets to be re-drawn so someone else could enjoy the prize. Congratulations to both Letitia and Craig for outstanding dedication in providing the Big E to our customers. By earning the prestigious Silver E title you too could be in with the chance of chuckling away at your favourite comedian or another exciting experience.
Not only does the Silver E award scheme boost staff morale but it also rewards staff for going that extra mile in terms of providing the best customer experience possible. Our newest Silver Es have some key advice to members of staff who want to get involved in becoming the next Silver E. “My best advice would be to be happy and enthusiastic in everything you do and understand that every customer has different needs and requirements,” said Craig Coleville, Empire Clydebank. “I was really pleased to be recognised for just doing my job. It has made me even more aware of the service I am giving customers,” he said. Letitia Clarke from Empire Great Park says: “The Silver E programme creates competition and promotes rewards for those to be better at their job. I have felt a new confidence in myself that makes me feel proud.” “Have fun, be happy but professional and that sincerity will shine through when talking to customers,” she advises.
lucky enough to be re-selected for tickets to see Paddy McGuiness in Nottingham. “I thought the Paddy McGuiness show was excellent. He has plenty of energy and involved us all from the start,” said Chris. “The best part of the evening was meeting and spending time with colleagues, exchanging ideas, experiences and gossiping.” Chris describes winning the prize as: “Always welcome but this event was an opportunity to do something new. A real bonus!” Sandra also thoroughly enjoyed the night and the entire experience with Paddy living up to all her expectations. “The best part of the night was the atmosphere right before Paddy’s arrival on stage, it was electrifying,” said Sandra. “It was a real pleasure meeting Jan and Adel from Head Office again, and making new friends like Chris from Swindon.” “I was over the moon with having this as a prize from receiving my Silver E. It’s a wonderful idea and really nice to feel appreciated. I believe it helps boost morale whilst at the same time, it’s always nice to be pampered!”
A Silver E is... …An employee who goes above and
beyond our customers’ expectations. …Where the smile and interaction comes naturally through their personal effectiveness, passion and knowledge of all our products. …An employee who understands us as a company and why the customer experience is vital in making a difference, not only for our customers but for the longevity and success of our business.
Kiren Samani – Human Resource Manager
CURRENT SILVER ES...
QUARTERLY PRIZE DRAW
Chris Silver and Sandra Hedley, attendees of the Paddy McGuiness concert, share their highlights of this quarters prize draw after they were Chris Silver, Sandra Hedley and guest.
Gary Lee Jan Dwyer Dean Mowbray Amy Stonehouse Chris Silver Craig Coleville Letitia Clarke Pat Richardson (see her in the next issue...)
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 09
PULSE empire charity
charity update Team Empire in Paris
We’ve got updates from our charitable fitness fanatics from last issue and they’ve done Empire Cinemas more than proud.
perations Director, Paul Baxter and his fellow ‘Team Empire’ all took part in a 250 mile London to Paris cycle ride and lived to
tell the tale. “It was amazing,” said Paul. “The whole experience was remarkable and the team worked together to reach the finish line.” They managed to raise a whopping £5,143.80 all in aid of the British Heart
Foundation. “Supplier support as well as kind donations from family and friends helped us raise the amount. The support from BHF was also overwhelming. They were always on hand to assist Team Empire from start to finish and for that we’re so grateful,” said Paul. Julia Daniel, another member of the team, said: “It was a fantastic experience, I really enjoyed it and would definitely do it again.”
Over the three days, Team Empire racked up hundreds of miles riding from 8am to 7pm daily. Paul said: “I’d like to thank my fellow Team Empire bike riders and also The British Heart Foundation for being so supportive. Of course, a huge thank you goes to the sponsors who supported us and helped us raise a massive amount.”
overwhelming feeling of pride that I had done something I thought I would never be able to do,” he said. Teammate Adele said: “I’m so glad I did the run, I absolutely loved it. The crowd were great, handing out jelly babies and oranges and using their garden hoses to cool us down. I can’t even remember most of it I was just on a mission to get to the end and it absolutely flew.” On the other side of the spectrum, team member and running regular, Stephen Brown took every mile in his stride in his 28th Great North Run. An astonishing effort made all the more impressive with no training in preparation. “I never really do any training, I couldn’t really tell you how I do it,” he said. Stephen has also run nine full marathons and said: “Every year when I finish I seem to enjoy it more and the atmosphere is just
fantastic, that’s what keeps you coming back, you catch the bug.” All three crossed the finish line within ten minutes of each other. Adele finished in 2:26:22; Stephen came in at 2:24:31 and Andy bundled across the line at 2:16:31. It was never about the times however and all three deserve huge plaudits for taking part. Between them Adele and Andy were able to raise well over £700 for Tinkuy Peru, money that will help educate children coming from some of the poorest families in Peru.
e are pleased to update you on not one but three employees who represented Empire Cinemas in this year’s Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon. Supervisors Andy Spoors and Adele Bainbridge were joined by Stephen Brown to take on the 13.5 miles from Newcastle to South Shields. Undertaking his first GNR, Andy Spoors had no idea what to expect. “When I started training in May I thought I would gradually get fitter but it didn’t feel like it and then time really did start creeping up on me.” he said. With Adele training at the same time, a healthy rivalry soon sparked up. With motivation on the wane, Andy chose to support Adele’s charity of Tinkuy Peru as well. “After finishing the run, I felt so many emotions. Relief, happiness but an
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Andy Spoors, PostGreat North Run
minutes andy bush
PULSE FACES OF EMPIRE
ational Operations Manager Andy Bush spends most of his time travelling up and down the country meeting our General Managers and analysing the company’s strengths and weaknesses. When not working hard for Empire Cinemas, he’s spending time with his wife and two kids. Andy explains his background within the cinema industry and reveals what it’s like to work for Empire.
it has changed massively. The number of people who pay with cash has reduced and those booking in advance for some of our cinemas average above 40% of customers each week. The ticket prices have definitely changed, back then they were only £1.95 adult and 95p for a child!
Can you give us a brief history of your What has been your time working in the cinema industry? biggest achievement within I first started as a part-time Usher and then your job? worked my way up to Supervisor. I was then I guess that really it’s about appointed full-time as Chief of Staff, now being a part of this business, known as a Key Holding Supervisor. Just being involved from the absolute before my 19th birthday, I became a outset and seeing Manager and started moving the formation of the to other cinemas. In 1989 I business. I also hosted became a Relief Manager; the Royal Film Premiere The in 1990 a Regional of Ali, attended by Training Manager and Prince Charles and Will best thing then, in 1991, a National Smith. I guess that’s an about working for Training Manager achievement as there covering the UK and are very few people Empire is the passion Ireland. It was in 1996 who have had that and focus that is put that I became the opportunity. General Manager at into being the best Milton Keynes, where What is the best thing it all started. In 1997 I about working for we can be for our moved to Lee Valley then Empire Cinemas? customers. took over as the GM in I think the best thing Leicester Square in 1999. about working for Empire is the passion and focus that is put How do you feel that the into being the best we can be for cinema industry has changed our customers. It’s hard to believe just a lot since you started? 6 years ago there were no Empire cinemas! I started working in cinema part-time in In that time we have come so far, not by 1985 at The Point in central Milton Keynes. copying what others do but by forging our This was the first purpose built multiown way forward. We were the first to offer screen cinema in the UK and heralded a a premium high street bar and coffee at the new dawn for modern cinema. We still had cinema. We were also the first to enable computerised ticketing systems but they booking of Orange tickets on a till and were far more basic with green or yellow online. We had one of the first two all digital screens and just text. As a team member the cinemas in the UK and we are still the only biggest change would be that we didn’t take cinema company that offers a free upgrade to cheques or credit cards, just cash. There was premium seats when you book online. This no advance booking at all, so everyone that could only have been achieved because of a came had to buy their ticket at the cinema huge commitment from our owner but also box office. When you compare this to now, the people who work across the business.
Andy Bush, National Operations Manager
interesting facts Favourite film of all time: Top Gun The Jungle Book Film you are looking forward to seeing next: Ghost Protocol Favourite actor: Tom Cruise Leonardo Di Caprio (Partly because Andy has met both of these Hollywood stars!) Popcorn, sweet or salted: Salted
A special thank you to Andy Bush for sparing the time to talk to PULSE Magazine.
winter 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 11
Opinion Matters RESULTS R OUND 2
Last April, Empire Cinemas launched the Your Opinion Matters online customer survey. We’ve now completed the second round and we can see whether each cinema reached it’s action plan targets and improved it’s score since last time.
his round we’ve had over 1600 customers take part in the online survey to help feedback what they thought of their cinema visit. Handing out the YOM cards must be working as this is an increase of 300 participants since round one. The overall results have been fantastic with 14 out of our 16 cinemas improving on their overall percentage from last time. This is fantastic and shows that YOM is really helping to make a difference. The biggest improvement was from Empire Slough with a massive 32.8% increase. Massive congratulations to the Slough team and keep pushing to get into the ‘OMG Good’ category and make Billy smile. Empire Wigan also shot up the table with a 20% increase. New General Manager, Nicola, has already made it clear the customer experience is top of her agenda. Even some small percentage increases have managed to boost a number of cinemas up a category. Basildon and Bishops Stortford jumped from ‘OK I Guess’ to ‘Good’ whilst Sutton and Slough left the dark depths of the ‘Shockingly Bad’ category to move up to ‘OK I Guess”. Unfortunately with the good there was also some not so good results for Swindon and Birmingham Great Park who slipped down to the ‘OK I Guess’ level. These
cinemas need to give a real push over the next six months to get back in the clear. Our next YOM survey is scheduled for late springtime 2012 plus we’ll be introducing some new measures to gauge everyone’s efforts in delivering a World Class Cinema experience. This year our big focus has been giving a farewell to each customer when they leave the cinema. This is still proving a struggle with few cinemas hitting their target on this although there was improvement. One of our other areas of focus was toilet facilities and most cinemas put this on their action plans to improve. Well done to Newcastle, High Wycombe and Poole for hitting their targets in this area but unfortunately Swindon, Hemel Hempstead, Sunderland, Bromley and Bishops Stortford saw a decline. As with last time, management teams will look at the result of the killer questions in their individual cinemas and work out an action plan and targets as where to focus their efforts for improvement. Pulse will keep you up to date with all the results and developments and keep improving your customer’s experience throughout 2012.
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BILLY’S FACES KEY
OMG Good Good Alright I Guess Poor Shockingly Bad
PULSE ONLINE SURVEY
ROUND 2 (%)
ROUND 1 (%)
BILLY’S FACE RATING
winter 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 13
ACTION PL ANS
After our first round of YOM surveys, each cinema made an action plan to work towards in round two. Now we can see who hit target and got a big YOM tick. SLOUGH 90% happy w ith the welcom e 85% are happ y with the toil ☐ et facilities ☐ 85% of custom ers are happy with cinema m anagement ☐
RD STORTFO re S P O H S I B since ☐ receive a 85% will with farewell rs happy e m to s ☐ u c 90% of s s h the cleanline happy wit ☐ e b l il w 90% toilets
NEWCASTLE: s to receive a 80% of customer l personal farewel s happy with 80% of customer the toilets
BIRMINGHA M 84% are happ y with the ☐ toilet facilities 65% to receiv e a farewell ☐ 95% on averag e for satisfaction w ith the ☐ auditorium ex perience, décor and clea nliness
SUTTO N Bring Y OM sco re up to in Roun 80% d2
POOLE 85% are happy with th e toilets ☑ 60% or more receive a farewell ☐ 87.5% of customers ar e happy ☑ with the welcome
CLYDEBANK farewell, ☐ 80% to receive a with toilet ☐ 90% to be happy facilities in welcome ☐ 90% to be happy
BROMLEY 85% to receive a farewell ☐ 90% to find clean and ☐ stocked toilets
HIGH WYCOMBE are happy ☑ 70% of customers s with toilet facilitie receiving a ☐ s er om 65% of cust farewell e efficiency ☐ 85% happy with th of the team
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D SUNDERLAN ☐ rewell fa 70% receive a h e happy wit ☐ 90% or more ar the welcome with the toilets ☐ 90% are happy
BASILD O 80% cu N stomer s to warm w elcome receive a 85% to ☑ re farewel ceive a genui ne l 80% to ☐ find to ilets cle an
SWINDON farewell ☐ 70% receive py with the ☐ 90% are hap es toilet faciliti py with the ☐ 95% are hap welcome
LEICES TER SQ U 95% to receive ARE a farewe 95% to ll be auditor happy with the ☐ ium exp er 95% of custom ience ☑ e r st with the way the o be happy c being m anaged inemas ☑
WIGAN Increas eo by 15% verall YOM sc ore ☑ Ensure killer qu e st an avera ge of 80 ions are all %
SUTT ON CO LDFIE 85% o fc LD farewe ustomers ge ta ll, 85% ar ☐ e faciliti happy with the toi es let ☐ 90% ar e cleanli happy with the ness
AD HEMEL HEMPSTE l el ☑ w re 65% receive a fa t ile to ith ☐ 90% to be happy w facilities ith the 89% to be happy w ☐ welcome
Chrismas makes us feel nostalgic so in this issue of Pulse we are reminiscing about the films of time gone by and having a look at some of the biggest films from the last 10, 15 and 20 years.
2001 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone UK Box Office: £53,963,649 Philosopher’s Stone was the very first instalment of the iconic Harry Potter series. It follows an eleven-year-old Harry who, after discovering he’s a wizard, heads to Hogwarts where he meets Ron and Hermione and begins his battle against Voldermort. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring UK Box Office: £23,698,891 J.R.R Tolkien’s fantasy adventure is brought to life by Peter Jackson with the help of Elijah Wood, Sir Ian Mckellen and Orlando Bloom. Fellowship of the Ring is the start of an epic journey for Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin who seek to destroy an ancient ring. Shrek UK Box Office: Approximately £28,130,248 With an all star cast, including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, Shrek tells the story of an ogre who would do anything to get his swamp back, even rescuing a Princess.
Independence Day UK Box Office: £36,800,000 In this sci-fi adventure Will Smith stars as Captain Steven Hiller who helps form a resistance against invading aliens to keep the human race alive. Twister UK Box Office: £14,800,000 Dr. Jo Harding and Bill Harding played by Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton are on the brink of divorce. They must work together to use their own technology to study the structure of tornados, outsmarting a rival team in the process. Mission: Impossible UK Box Office: £18,300,000 Ethan Hunt, Tom Cruise, is a secret agent suspected of killing two of his colleagues. Hunt employs unorthodox methods to prove his innocence to the agency that he worked for.
m l i f
t h r
PULSE FILM FOR THOUGHT
1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day UK Box Office: £18,179,000 John Connor and his mother are in danger from a new type of terminator, however, the resistance have sent Arnold Schwarzenegger back in time to protect them from the new threat. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves UK Box Office: £7,880,000 Predominantly a film about revenge, Robin Hood, Kevin Costner, returns to England to discover that the Sheriff of Nottingham, Alan Rickman, has murdered his father. As a result he hides in Sherwood Forest, becoming the leader of the exiled villagers gathered there. Silence of the Lambs UK Box Office: £17,119,000 This award winning thriller stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. In order to find and stop a serial killer who skins his victims Clarice Starling is told to interview Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who also happens to be a psychopath.
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 15
BEHIND THE SCENES... 3"(+(),#)#-+)*+#,-$'1)$#4()5+#46))) AT CADBURY’S 7("8.,)'"()1$(.(1)'#-+)#5)!&,/-+091):&$'#+0)
URY to find out how their delicious DB CA at nes sce the d hin be es go PULSE s. !"#$#%&'()*+#,-$#.)&')!&,/-+0122222) colate gets to Empire Cinema’s shelve cho !"#$%&!'%()*+,-##./0*12345.6(7&8119: ;<185='>5)*:?587*@+(A"8"72+(. @8+.8"7&5.B+*5%?5+C5"DE5/1*87&F*1'& 2+(.4<(">(1D!*1DA*+*78G*"%&*+5+* (HH(+%<"8%/%(0**)*&8"D%&*0'*"*0(2%&* 25.(<0'&('(15%*25'%(+/:>5D)<+/:8"(+D*+ %(7*%5"8"08%*8"%(&(A%&*'&('(15%*80 H+(D<'*DI
6&*'&('(15%*0%5+%0(<%50'('(5)*5"0: A&8'&5+*H+('*00*D8"525'%(+/5%>&8+C8" J(+%&F51*0I6&8025'%(+/(H*+5%*0,KLM5"D H+('*00*0N-:---%(""*0(2'('(5)*5"0*5'&/*5+I6&*0*)*5"05+*!+0%0(+%*D5"D'1*5"*D5"D%&*"+(50%*D5%5 %*.H*+5%<+*(2#ONP>IQ%80D<+8"7%&80+(50"70%57*A&*+*%&*'('(5)*5"05'R<8+*%&*8+'&('(15%*"5G(<+5"D5+(.5I6&* )*5"05+*%&*")+(C*"D(A"8"%(A&5%80C"(A"50S"8)0T5"D%&*"7+(<"D%(H+(D<'*518R<8D'511*DS.500T'("%58"8"7NNNMU '('(5)<*+:%&*)50802(+511'&('(15%*H+(D<'%0I 6&*S.500T80%&*"%+5"0H(+%*D%(%&*.81C25'%(+/8"=5+1)+((C:V*+(+D0&8+*:A&*+*%&*2<11'+*5..81C805DD*DI6&80+*0<1%0 8"5+8'&'&('(15%*'+*5./18R<8DA&8'&80%&*"D+8*D%(78G*.81C'&('(15%*S'+<.)TI 6&*S'+<.)T80%+5"0H(+%*D%(%&*@(<+"G811*25'%(+/2(+%&*"*W%0%57*0(28%0H+('*008"7I=(+*'('(5)<*+5"D510( G*7*%5)1*25%05+*5DD*D%(%&*'+<.)8"(+D*+%(78G*%&*'&('(15%*%&*'(++*'%'("080%*"'/I6*.H*+8"780%&*!"51)<%.(0% '+<'8510%57*(2'&('(15%*H+(D<'("5%@(<+"G811*:8%8"G(1G*0%&*'&('(15%*)*8"7.8W*D5"D%&*"'((1*DIQ%80%&80%*.H*+*D '&('(15%*A&8'&80<0*D%(H+(D<'*%&*A8D*+5"7*(2H+(D<'%0.5D*)/>5D)<+/5"D8%80%&800%57*A&8'&78G*0%&*'&('(15%* %&*25.(<0>5D)<+/0.((%&"*005"D71(00I F&810%("(<+G808%A*!+0%05A5.(<1D*D)5+)*8"7H+(D<'*DIQ%)*78"0A8%&%&*%*.H*+*D18R<8D'&('(15%*)*8"7H(<+*D8"%( 5.(<1D)/5.5'&8"*A&8'&&50)**"0*%%(D80H*"0*%&**W5'%5.(<"%I6&*.(<1D80%&*"0&5C*"5"D'((1*D%(78G*5 H*+2*'%1/.(<1D*D)5+:*G*+/,-.8"<%*0505.H1*80%5C*"(%&*'("G*/(+)*1%5"D8%0A*87&%:0&5H*5"D5HH*5+5"'*5+* "(%*DI6&8080("*(2%&*2*AX()0011'5++8*D(<%)/5&<.5"8"%&*H15"%I 6&*'&('(15%*)5+0%&*"'(""<*("%(%&*&87&0H**DA+5HH8"7H15"%IQ%80&*+*A&*+*%&*/5+*A+5HH*D:0*51*D5"D H5'C57*D<H+*5D/%(7((2(+051*I6&*S"(AA+5HH*+T)*1%'5"A+5HO--K$7)5+0(2'&('(15%**G*+/.8"<%*A&8'&*R<5%*0 %(5+(<"DMN-:---H*+D5/Y F*%&*"05A&(A0.511500(+%.*"%'&('(15%*05+*.5D*:%&**W5.H1*A*&5DA*+*2<D7*2(+ 5)(W(2+(0*0I?+*.5D*2<D7*A505DD*D%(%&*'("G*/(+)*1%A&8'&A50%&*"+(11*D5"D'<% )/.5'&8"*%(%&*H*+2*'%08Z*I6&*'&('(15%*80%&*"5DD*D)/5H+('*00'511*DS*"+()8"7T A&*+*%&*2<D7*H500*0("5'(""<(<0)*1%<"D*+5'<+%58"(218R<8D'&('(15%*I =(G8"72<+%&*+(":A*2(<"D%&*H+(D<'("18"*2(+[50%*+*770I!"%&*D5/%&*25'%(+/A50 51+*5D/H+(D<'8"7[50%*+*770+*5D/2(+[50%*+,-#,:A&8'&5+*0&8HH*D(<%5"DC*H%8" 0%(+57*+*5D/2(+"*W%/*5+IE*H%5%%&*'(++*'%%*.H*+5%<+*:'&('(15%*'5"C**H2(+(G*+#, .("%&0I[50%*+*7705+*H+(D<'*D8",&51G*0A&8'&5+*("1/&*1D%(7*%&*+)/%&*2(81 A+5HH8"7I\&512*770&5H*D.(<1D80!11*DA8%&18R<8D'&('(15%*5"D8"G*+%*D%(+8D(2%&* *W'*005"D1*5G*5!"*15/*+)*&8"DI6&8080%&*"'((1*D5"D.*'&5"8'515+.0%5C*%&*%A( &51G*0:08%("*("%(H(2%&*(%&*+:A+5H%&*.8"2(815"D)(W%&*.+*5D/2(+051*IF*510(05A &(A>5D)<+/0@<("05"D>5+5.*1J8))1*05+*H+(D<'*DI >5D)<+/0805&87&1/0(H&80'5%*D:'(.H<%*+'("%+(11*D25'%(+/:A&8'&H+(D<'*05A8D*+5"7*(28%*.0("5&<7*0'51*5"D80 011%(%&80D5/H+(D<'8"7"*A5"D*W'8"7H+(D<'%0%(C**H(<+%50%*)<D0518G*Y
16 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
PULSE BEHIND THE SCENES
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`58+/=81C)5+A*511C"(A5"D1(G*A50!+0%15<"'&*D8"#$-NI!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! "#$%!&'()$*!)+!,+!+(!'!-$./(*!).$!01$($0!)+2%!)+!0$$!3+2%!4'#+2%/)$!5%+*21)!-$/(,!6'*$7!!8%+5!20!'(!$6'/9!'(*!3+2!6/,.)!-$! +2%!($:)!%$)'/9!%$5+%)$%;!! %$)'/9<$65/%$1/($6'0=1+=2>!
A big THANK YOU to everyone at the Cadbury factory who welcomed Empire Cinemas staff.
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 17
New GM Nicola Wood and new AGM Jimmy Pearson are welcomed to Wigan.
EMPIRE’S OWN WIGAN WARRIORS
This issue welcomes the wonderful Wigan to Pulse magazine’s pages. Situated in Northern England, Wigan has just introduced a new management team and with them, Nicola Wood and Jimmy Pearson bring the famous Big E passion.
t’s never a dull moment at this Empire cinema, from fishy demands to 101 Dalmations, Wigan are very much a team-focused cinema. New manager, Nicola Wood, has only been at Empire Wigan since September so is new to all things Empire. After 18 years working at Premier Inn and the Beefeater chain, Nicola has come to Wigan and brought
with her a massive burst of passion and determination. “I want our cinema to be the best, create great team development and provide our customers with an experience they want to come back to,” she said. A special mention goes to Suz Hill who covered at Wigan as manager and created a brilliant cinema performance prior to Nicolas arrival and also to Andy Bush who
18 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
has supported her since she started at Empire Wigan. “I’ve come into an amazing company and already love the people I work with. Everybody is so kind and welcoming so our target is to be the best in the business. We don’t want to be just Empire Wigan we want to be the best,” said Nicola. It’s not just Nicola who believes in this mantra though.
PULSE TEAM IN FOCUS
Simon the projectionist, Empire Wigan and the mighty Wigan Warriors rugby team visit.
Fellow ex-Whitbread Deputy Manager, Jimmy Pearson has also joined the Empire Wigan team after 16 years working at Premier Inn and Beefeater. Jimmy has brought with him a passion for delivering exceptional customer service and a determination to put Wigan on the map. With a total of 47 team members working at Empire Wigan, it’s no surprise Nicola wants to bring with her the best customer experience: “I have a passion for providing customers with the best experience they’ve ever received at a cinema.” Norman Brown, the Projection Manager, has been in the cinema industry for a whopping 45 years and has been at Wigan ever since it first opened. “The day we opened just happened to be on Friday the 13th,” says Norman, “The first film ever shown was 101 Dalmations and in true Friday 13th Style, the film stopped six times!” Empire Wigan is also constantly thinking of new ways to enforce the Big E throughout their cinema. They have moved their drop box to either side of the corridor to enable the team to greet all customers in a friendly
way and have some interaction before they enter the screen. Nicola confirms they are also focusing on their ‘Goodbyes’ ensuring all team members are present at the end of every film to bid all customers a fond farewell. “In whole we are being there and present for our customers so they feel safe with the knowledge that we are approachable, knowledgeable and caring,” says Nicola. Several staff all commented on how the Big E training had helped them deal with customers and improve their experience too. Gareth Barrow said, “It’s a fun way of learning, and has given me a wider range of knowledge of how customers should be dealt with and how it can be achieved.” “It has given me a broader outlook of dealing with customers, but it’s exciting at the same time,” says team member, Matt Brown. Kerry Moores, another team member, said: “The customer experience scheme has improved Empire Wigan by offering a more satisfactory and efficient service to the customer and providing a positive working environment in which a good feeling is achieved within the team on shift.
It has improve my personal performance by knowing that, by doing a good job and providing excellent customer service, I am contributing to the good in somebody’s day. My favourite area of the whole scheme is the service given on a personal level; I like talking to customers on their opinion of the films and how their day has been so far. People really appreciate it when you take the time to talk to them and make them feel more valued not only as customers but as people too.” Wigan is currently in the process of providing numerous different solutions to improve their Big E customer experience. They ensure they have team meetings every six weeks to keep staff up to date with what’s going on. Management meetings also take place weekly as well as team show meetings. The cinema is offering incentives keeping the staff up to date with Empire communications and putting in place ‘One More Item’ rewards. Spotlight checks are done with team members and all junior members are issued with leaflets, activity sheets and a big smile from staff.
INTERESTING FACTS Total admission’s to date: 400,585 How many years combined service: 151 years Biggest selling film so far this year: The Inbetweeners Does Wigan sell more sweet or salted popcorn: Sweet Strange requests: Kayleigh was asked if she could keep an eye on some goldfish (in a bowl) while the customer watched the film Celebrities visits: Wigan Warriors Rugby Team visited to watch a DVD of training.
Fancy having your team featured in Pulse Magazine? EMAIL US AT: firstname.lastname@example.org WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 19
PULSE STAFF PROFILE
An expert in film... Empire is recognised for cinema excellence and we take pride in our staff’s passion for cinema. David Norris, The Empire’s projection manager, was given the exciting opportunity to proofread recent bestseller The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex by Mark Kermode.
him in the novel, even acknowledging him. “It is a very proud feeling to see your name in print in the acknowledgements and it is always nice It is a very proud feeling to see your name in print in to be recognised as an expert voice the acknowledgements and it is always nice to be in your industry,” David reveals. recognised as an expert voice in your industry. “I have been extremely busy at Empire lately with various events, but it was enjoyable to read Mark’s went to the top of Amazon’s book list, book on the train and give him my input”. fighting with Michael McIntyre’s Life and In his bestseller, Mark Kermode reveals Laughing for several weeks. “The book is a some very funny truths about cinema and, very good read and covers the technical side although the novel is critiquing the industry of cinema, from the changeover from digital as a whole, he quotes Empire Cinemas as projection to the rise of 3D cinema. Mark being one of the best. So if you want to loves to rant and this makes for a hilarious know more about the technicalities behind read, for example, he hates 3D as he says it the changing cinema industry and enjoy an has been ‘giving us a headache for the last opinionated humour, get yourself a copy of hundred years’”. Mark Kermode’s The Good, The Bad and Upon its publishing, David was the Multiplex and read viewpoints from our surprised that author Mark Kermode had very own expert, David Norris. taken on board his suggestions and quoted screens up to an excellent standard and I am very happy where I am”. The Good, The Bad and The Multiplex was published in September this year and
20 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
I have known Mark for several years and we would always meet through work events and he comes to Empire showings quite regularly,” David tells us. “I also got to know him more on a social level last year when we both attended a charity concert. When he needed someone to check the facts about the technical side of the film industry in his new book, I must have been the first to come to mind and I was more than happy to help.” It’s little wonder that Empire Cinemas employee David Norris was chosen as his fact-checker. He has been Projection Manager at Empire Leicester Square for the past four years and worked at Odeon in Leicester Square for 25 years prior to that. Comparing the two, David said that: “Odeon is changing rapidly as a company and many people I worked with have left since because they don’t like what it’s becoming. I think Empire is a great company and has done well in attributing money to bringing the
David Norris, deep in film thought.
PULSE TEAM BLOG
M A E G
T LO B
A warm welcome to Empire Bromley
Hello! and welcome to historic Bromley. We opened our doors on 21st September 1936, showing Max Miller as he starred in Educated Evans, so we celebrated our 75th birthday a few weeks ago!
e thought we were the oldest Empire cinema until we looked up Sutton Coldfield, who is 5 months older than us, but we were close. Being an older building can be both charming and challenging. Our old fashioned style is attractive to some and out of date to others. Behind Bromley cinema, but part of our property, is the old Odeon head offices which now stand boarded up and derelict. Like all cinemas, and particularly as we are so old, we have a haunted screen with legend being that screen 4 is looked after by a ghost projectionist from 1936 that occasionally makes himself known to the staff. We have a small, committed and select team here at Empire Bromley and all of us share the belief that our customers deserve the very best service that we can give. We have the cheapest ticket price in the area but refuse to have that as a reason to offer
anything less than the best experience we can. Our competitors include Greenwich Odeon, who can offer better facilities but cannot touch us for the personal service that we offer by delivering the Big E. We try to look after our customers and keeping our regulars happy is vital to our business. We have very successful Seniors showings, with all of the management team keeping them happy with raffles, prizes and general good service. One our regular seniors actually came to the cinemaâ€™s opening weekend, so being a loyal customer for over 75 years must be a record. Our team is new and very hard working and committed to delivering the Big E and adding new customers to our loyal regulars. We have a family orientated audience and run promotions. At Easter we ran a treasure hunt with a giant Easter egg as the prize. We also attended the local fresherâ€™s fair, giving away popcorn to the new students as we continue to market ourselves to all of the community.
We have 4 screens, one of which has 3D, so picking which films we show and when can be a challenge. We feel we are getting things right and, with our attendance up by 11%, our customers seem to agree. We have just started our Lighting Up Performance and see the Spotlight Checks that we have started as the next step in developing our team and the service that they deliver. We are looking forward to setting up personal development plans for everyone at the cinema, so that they can learn and grow with us. We are excited about the upcoming period, with Arthur Christmas, Tin Tin and Alvin ready to excite our customers. We have made improvements based on the Your Opinion Matters survey and hope that the second round shows the work that the team has put in. We had to shut for a day this year as the London riots spread to our high street, but it will take more than a rampaging mob to stop us delivering the World Class service that we want Empire to become famous for.
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 21
E S L U P New Year Resolutions We listen to YOU...
Last issue we sent out a questionnaire for all our avid readers to give us some feedback on the magazine and Empire Cinemas as a whole so we can make some changes and give you guys what you want.. The results are in and hereâ€™s what you said...
PULSE 70 60 50
WHAT PART OF PULSE ARE YOU ENJOYING READING THE MOST...
40 30 20 10
Ot he r Co m m en t No
ar i sto ty E ve m nt er s Fe ed ba Fil ck m Re v ie Ot he ws rC 10 in em M in as ut Qu es izz W es it h /P r iz eP Fil ag m e in Fo cu s
22 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
Ot he r Co m m en t No
Co m pa M or ny eC Fa o ct Cu m s pe sto tit m i er on In fo Fe s & ed In b ac te Fil ks rv m ie In ws Re te rv vie wi ie th w ws s S ta W ff. ith . . M ov ie M St or ar eI s nc en tiv es Ag on Ou yA rO un w t n Ci ne m a
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN FUTURE EDITIONS OF PULSE...
50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
WHAT COULD WE DO TO MAKE WORKING FOR OUR COMPANY EVEN BETTER...
ld in Re g c e Tr o n g tiv ain ni es tio in g& & n Re Re Fe wa sp ed rd on ba s sib ck ilit Fo In ies rm ve s st fo m rS en ta ti ffs n Fa cil Be it i tte es rU nif or m s Ot he No r Co m m en t
50 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0
WHAT COULD THE COMPANY DO TO HELP GIVE AN EVEN BETTER EXPERIENCE60TO CUSTOMERS... 50 40 30 20 10 Series1
Tr Be a tte inin e g rF Au ac th ili or M tie ity or s -R e M St o e af r fu fs nd e P ay du s rin /Up Be g gr tte ad r D Bus e y ea Pe ls r io fo ds rC us t Te oem am rs Bu ild in M g or In ce e Ho nt iv ur O e s th s/ Re er w /N ar o Co d m m en t
A massive THANK YOU to everyone who took part in the survey and look forward to seeing some changes in 2012.
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 23
K C A B D E E F R E M O CUST D R A O B E C NOTI Basil
don HI, i j impre us t want t sse d o say I am Impa how ct scr w it h t h e e e n . n scree It is the b ew thank n Iâ€™ve eve r seen igges t s for a gre at exp and erien ce. Ben M ower
for the re very grateful Just to say, we we d we the other night an help yo u gave us tr ying to thank yo u for wo uld also like ing a d prevent us mak so hard to tr y an e cinema. wasted trip to th ills are a cred it sk rvice Yo ur custo mer se ern ve a genuine conc to yo u and yo u ha e. se s which is rare to for yo ur custo mer rs rward to seeing Ca We are lo oking fo sorting d thank yo u for to mor row night an . the tickets for us erate under id ns co and Yo u are so calm way yo ur exceptional pressure and with to face oblem both face of handling a pr very think yo u have a and in writing. I yo u as path in front of successful career dealing are both go od at not many people th ic and coping wi well with the publ en re ed out multi sc a very hectic, pack co mplex! Kind Regard s Sadie Hayfield
24 | PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
I have jus t been to Tower Park and seen Captain America. Thanks for a great film, great cinema, and really friend ly helpful staff. It really is a great example of how a cinema sho uld be run. I live in Guernsey and we only have a small 4 screen cinema and none of the screens are ver y big (smaller than the stu dio s you now have in Poo le). They also miss out on a lot of films or get them late bec ause they are showing something else for a minimum time. Peo ple only go to it because the y have too. There are campaigns on Facebo ok and I too wo uld like you to look into opening a decent cinema in Guernsey . There is a place called Ad miral Park which did have per mis sion to build a cinema in and it wo uld be an ideal locati on as the cur rent one is at the far end of the island, whereas this one is rig ht by the main work place. Thank you for tak ing the time to read this and once again thanks to your staff for an excellent time. Paul Go ubert
tism, to see o suffers with au wh n, so y m ok to I t Cars 2. We ie of the momen ov m ite ur vo fa s hi in quite a r times and were had mixed up ou st. stress to be hone co mpliment yo ur to emailing is am I on as re e Th o was more Peter Robinson, wh d vi Da , ee oy pl em in custo mer ing us. I worked lp he in y pp ha an th nts than it is more co mplai service and know h are conveyed. co mpliments whic grain and to go agains t the I therefore wish mpany. His cred it to yo ur co say this man is a refreshing to ndly and it was ie fr s wa e ud tit at ough to talk to ber confident en em m f af st a ve ha y and is great n. It made his da so d ol ar ye 9 y m ile about his e to talk for a wh nc de nfi co s hi r fo Pixar with lo ve of all things apparent shared yo ur staff. and Daniel No lan Mr Edward No lan
Yes terday, late in the evening, I had reason to contact, via email, the Wigan cinema with regard s to seat sizes. My email was pro mptly replie d to by Clare Cornell. Several emails were exchanged and my query was resolved both quickly and professionally. I wo uld like to express my thanks to Clare for her help, advice and for go ing out of her way to answer my query. It's ref reshing to find someone who is willing to go out of their way to help their cus tomers. Kind Regard s Ade Lautieri
Last week I watc hed two films on different occasio ns at the High Wy co mbe Empire Cinema Super 8 on Sunday and Rise of the Pl anet of the Apes on Tuesday. On both occasions I fo und the staff to be very po lite, fr iendly and welcom ing, which is not a co m mon thing thes e days, and the cinemas themselves were clean and well care d fo r. These simple th ings are noticed and appreciate d. I will definitely be returning to yo ur particular cinema despite living in Aylesbur y. I'd just like to say thank yo u to ever yone who made both occasio ns worthwhile and en joyable. Keep up the go od work. Co lette Finkelstei n
Note from Roz
at custo mers It's great to see th ent ways to are finding differ Facebo ok has co mpliment us. quarter with provided us this ent so well our first co mplim pecially as it done to Po ole es y yet! These was the busiest da gauge how letters allow us to periences ex many OMG Goo d sto mer cu A we are offering. ite in wr to taking time out Can it. do proves we can nces rie pe ex we provide OMG ok lo I s?? to more custo mer en wh r te ar qu forward to next fit to le ab maybe we won't be noticeboard. :) them all on our Ro z xx
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 25
Massive developments in EMPIRE***
Investmentin Cinema It’s an exciting time for Empire Cinemas as a multitude of improvements and refurbishments are taking place all over the country. We’re not only improving customer’s experience but we’re also providing you with an even better work atmosphere. Empire Cinemas recognises the importance of putting money back into the company for everyone’s benefit.
mpire Poole has been a large point of focus for Empire Cinema’s refurbishment plans and this summer it revealed it’s new improvements. Deirdre Mullins, Cinema Administrator at Empire Poole said: “The whole place looks great with the changes that have taken place. The staff are all really pleased with their new workplace and we’re hearing a lot of positive feedback from customers.” The most recent developments at Empire Poole are the six new studio screens which were started early 2011 and was finalised by July, so quite a quick turnaround. This half a million pound venture brings the total refurbishment investment at Empire Poole to a whopping £2.5million. “Some of the improvements were needed, the building was looking tired but now it’s looking brilliant. The whole atmosphere of the cinema has changed and we’re receiving such exciting feedback,” said Deirdre. Empire Basildon are also seeing changes with a three phase programme which started
26| PULSE MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
last year. Phase one targeted the Pick’n’Mix area which was moved to the other side of the foyer and the space left turned into two new studios. Phase two then saw Screen 6 cut in half with half turned into new studio screens and the other becoming the highly popular Impact Screen. Stage three has seen the offices and staff areas moved to the ground floor. The remaining space is set to be transformed into more studios, taking Basildon up to 18 screens. Empire Basildon’s most recent point of focus has been an overhaul of the retail counters. “The move has been quite stressful for everyone and at one point we had no store rooms in the building during the summer holidays. All the staff have worked really hard, keeping all of the issues from effecting the customer’s experience,” said General Manager, Philip Peirce. Empire Newcastle is still undergoing their revamp with four new studio screens being revealed on December 9th, just as Pulse hits the cinemas. This is the start of a multi-million pound investment into this
location which is due to be completed by the summer. Dean Mowbray from Empire Newcastle said: “There’s definitely a buzz in the air as the work continues. We’re really looking forward to becoming bigger and better and matching how we strive for giving the Big E experience with a newly refurbished and expanded site. It will be the key to us becoming a truly World Class Empire Cinema. The original Empire Leicester Square has also had a modern facelift with the Empire 2 screen being completely re-stepped to have stadium seating. Over the last year, as always, Empire Cinemas has re-invested the profits our staff have helped us earn into the cinemas themsleves which includes 25 tennis courts worth of carpet spread over all the cinemas and 2040 seats.
A special thank you to Poole, Basildon, Leicester Square and Newcastle for sparing the time to talk to PULSE Magazine.
Climbing Ladder the
Empire Cinemas pride themselves on having excellent customer service and thank staff for working hard in helping to achieve their World Class vision. In 2011, there have been a number of people joining the various Empire Cinema’s teams: Daniel Drury Giuliana Pinna Jack Quirk James Pearsons Katherine Guinane Leon Fairbank Nicholas MacDonald Paul Dorrell Nicola Wood Salimah Adatia Sultan Masum Tracey Hui
- Projectionist, Swindon - Operations Admin Support, Bishops Stortford - Supervisor, Bishops Stortford - Assistant General Manager, Wigan - Supervisor, Sutton Coldfield - General Manager, Birmingham Great Park - Operations Assistant, Slough - Assistant General Manager, Bishops Stortford - General Manager, Wigan - Operations Assistant, Slough - Supervisor, Bromley - HR Assistant
Sadly we haven’t got space to mention all the Team Members who’ve joined us over in 2011, there’s just far too many, but we send you a massive welcome to you if you’re new to our teams.
We’ve also seen a number of people climbing up the Empire Cinemas career ladder: Adele Bainbridge Andrew Spoors Aneesa Javaid Ben Doman Bryan Hopper Emine Vahib Jon Nutton Keith Elliott Luke Willbourne Matthew Hopson Oliver Kennedy Pauline Barker Razak Hussain Rupinder Bains Serene Guinane Tara Delf Zerrin Turna Frank Sales Jennifer Mulligan Khalid Ishmael Illy Zdrava
- Team Member now Supervisor, Newcastle - Team Member now Supervisor, Newcastle - Team Member now Supervisor, Slough - Projection & Sound Engineer now Senior Projection & Sound Engineer - Team Member now Supervisor, Basildon - Supervisor now Operations Assistant, Sutton - Marketing Manager now Marketing Director - Team Member now Supervisor, Leicester Square - Team Member now Supervisor, Basildon - Team Member now Supervisor, Newcastle - Team Member now Supervisor, Bishops Stortford - Supervisor now Operations Assistant, Wigan - Team Member now Supervisor, Slough - Team Member now Supervisor, Slough - Team Member now Supervisor, Bromley - Team Member now Supervisor, Leicester Square - Film Booking Administrator now Assistant Film Booker & Administrator - Team Member now Supervisor, Sutton - Team Member now Supervisor, Sutton - Team Member now Supervisor, Sutton - Supervisor now Projection Supervisor, Bishop’s Stortford WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 27
back to floor During the October half term, Empire Cinemas asked Head Office staff to attend one of their locations to spend the day working front of house. This allowed them to see what working in one of the cinemas is like the pressures, responsibilities and tasks team members go through daily.
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE ADMINISTRATOR
ASSISTANT FILM BOOKER & ADMINISTRATOR
“Never having worked in a cinema, it was good to see what goes on behind the scenes”
“It was great to get back on to the floor where it all began”
REGIONAL SUPPORT MANAGER
HUMAN RESOURCES ASSISTANT
“It was great to spend time with the team members and getting involved directly with the customers. I even loved making loads and loads of nachos!”
“I really enjoyed interacting with our customers and learning how to run a cinema. The staff at Bromley were brilliant to work with”
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PULSE EMPIRE PORTFOLIO
Loraine McVittie at Empire Poole.
loraine mcvittie Head Office staff member Loraine McVittie spent the day at Empire Poole checking seating, cleaning screens and also doing a toilet check. A very different day to the one she is used to at Head Office! Loraine didn’t realise just how busy her day was going to be until she arrived at Empire Poole to see the huge amounts of kids piling through the cinema doors. “Poole was one of many cinemas that I had never been to,” said Loraine. “It was great to see the six new studios, which look great.” When asked what she enjoyed most about the day, Loraine couldn’t single out one thing. “Everything!” she exclaimed. “The team was very welcoming.” As Loraine visited Empire Poole during the school holidays, and it was Orange Wednesday, she only had two 15 minute breaks throughout the day. However this didn’t stop her from enjoying herself and benefiting from the experience. “Having worked for UCI/Empire Cinemas for 16 years this month, and having had that first-hand experience, it brought back lots of memories of having an aching back and very tired feet,” she said. Empire Poole were very impressed with Loraine’s participation and said: “She came in and took to the floor like a duck to water! She was brilliant and a real help. It was great to have an extra pair of hands on such a busy day and we couldn’t have done it without her. I thought it was great to see HO back to the floor and working with the sites. It was so nice to hear that Loraine actually chose us. She was lovely to work with and just fitted right in.” Loraine wasn’t the only one doing their fair share of front of house work. Check out the pictures opposite of our dedicated Head Officers who all went back to the floor…
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 29
EMPIRE OUTINGS Out & about with retail incenve winners
Sunderland Team went to see Batman Live at Newcastle thanks to Cadbury
Swindon enjoyed a Team oung to Alton Towers for upselling Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream over the summer!
Look out for more excing incenves through 2012!
s t o bo
puss in boots December 2011
hrekʼs mischievous feline sidekick is back with his boots and dagger at the ready in the Dreamworks animation spin-off, Puss in Boots 3D. The agile and loyal companion of the famous green ogre is up to his usual enigmatic cat behaviour but this time going solo. The film follows Puss, voiced by Antonio Banderas, and his companions in the cat years before he met swamp monster Shrek and reminisces on how he became loyal associate. On a mission to steal the famous golden egg laying goose, he dons his feather hat and sets to work. His nursery rhyme associates include mastermind Humpty Dumpty, Zach Galifianakis, and sultry, street savvy, Kitty Soft-Paws, Salma Hayek. Featuring a wide variety of Hollywood A-listers, audiences will be sure to recognise voices and even spot some of the casts mannerisms within the animations. Directed by Dreamworksʼ
The character Puss makes a “P” as his signature mark which is very similar to the “Z” of El Zorro in the movie Mask of Zorro, who is also played by Antonio Banderas.
Humpty’s cameo role with Puss
renowned animator Chris Miller, this adaptation of a fairytale classic really showcases Millerʼs growth since his first film Antz. His participation and direction on all three Shrek movies has stood him in good stead when directing this highly anticipated Far Far Away classic. Assured by the success of the Shrek franchise, this film is sure to streamline the same popularity, leaving audiences with hopes of even more fairytales classics being modernised and reformed. Puss in Boots confidently confirms that Dreamworks really know how to create the perfect family movie. Packed to the brim with great fast paced 3D animation this really is an all rounder. The voice talent and humour of some very familiar stars should be draws for the parents of the Palmer family and the expansion of the Shrek story will appeal to JJ, Sally and Jacob and anyone familiar with the Far Far Away franchise.
Dreamworks have confirmed that a Puss in Boots video game is due to be released after the film, where gamers can test how much swordsmanship and charm they can contain. Puss in Boots was originally planned to go directly to DVD.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Family Animation Director: Chris Miller Starring: Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifanakis, Billy Bob Thorton Movie Recommendations: The Adventures of Tintin 3D Arthur Christmas 3D
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 31
Trouble brewing with Holmes & Co.
a game of shadows
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS December 2011
etective Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick Dr Watson are back for a hilarious action packed performance in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who was also director of the first Sherlock Holmes movie, this detective sequel follows the duo on their latest investigation as they chase after the most important case of Holmes’ career to date. To challenge Holmes, his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty is introduced. A cinema villain who not only has evil running through his body but he is also Holmesʼ intellectual equal, making it even more difficult to solve the case. Constantly one step ahead, Moriarty leaves a pathway of mystery and pain behind him for Holmes to follow. They travel across Europe, from England to France and into Switzerland, with the humour and antics similar to those established in the first film in 2009. Audiences this time round will experience even more dramatic explosions with gun
fights and hilarious disguises interlaced in every scene. Featuring not only Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, viewers will also come faceto-face with Jared Harris. Previously seen in television series Fringe, Harris is taking on the role of the film’s villain. Gypsy mystery woman, Sim, is played by Noomi Rapace who fought off tough competition from Penelope Cruz, amongst others, for the part. As Sherlock Holmes himself realises in the trailer, he’s “knee-deep in the single most important case of [his] career” and this film is the opportunity to join him on the journey. Loosely based on the mystery stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this investigative blockbuster, released in time for Christmas, will have Billy and JJ at the front of the queue with popcorn and nachos at the ready. However donʼt be fooled into thinking that this is just an action movie for the boys, the comical relationship between Holmes and Watson will also have Dan and Sarah in stitches.
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FANTASTIC FACTS Brad Pitt and Sean Penn were originally considered for the role of Moriarty before Jared Harris.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Action / Comedy Director: Guy Ritchie Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Stephen Fry, Jared Harris Movie Recommendations: Clash of the Titans 2 Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol The Amazing Spiderman
The stern face of John Edgar Hoover
PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS
j edgar FANTASTIC FACTS
John Edgar Hoover became the first FBI Director in 1924.
January 2012 oth feared and admired in his role as FBI Director, John Edgar Hoover was the face of law enforcement in America for nearly five decades. Behind closed doors though, he held secrets that could’ve ruined both his career and his image. Almost 40 years after his death, Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood directs this portrayal of one of America’s most intriguing authority figures. Eastwood has earned widespread recognition for his acting roles having first risen to fame in the spaghetti western films in the 60s. Since then he’s appeared in countless films as well as taking on producer and composer duties. His directorial skills haven’t gone unnoticed. He won the Academy Award for Best Director twice, in 1992 for Unforgiven and 2004 for Million Dollar Baby. Playing the titular role is Leonardo DiCaprio, himself no stranger to awards. Most recently gaining numerous best actor nominations for last year’s Inception.
Playing Helen Gandy, the secretary to Hoover, is Naomi Watts – last seen alongside Daniel Craig in Dream House. Much like DiCaprio, the English actress also appeared in shoddy horror sequels such as Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, but broke out with her role in David Lynch’s cult classic Mulholland Drive. With an industry veteran like Eastwood behind the camera, and some of the most exciting talent in Hollywood involved you can be certain of a sure fire hit. The story, though quintessentially American, is one that anybody can invest some time in. After all, everyone has their secrets. With DiCaprio starring and Eastwood behind the camera, you can be sure that J Edgar will deliver an emotional story that will resonate with many. From Dan & Sarah to Beryl, anyone that appreciates a well written film will be catered for. Even Billy will be coerced to the cinema with the promise of a revealing look behind the historical figure.
Clint Eastwood has been acting for over 50 years and J Edgar will be his 33rd time in the director’s chair. While researching the film, DiCaprio and Eastwood spoke to Assistant FBI Director Mike Kortan about J Edgar Hoover. This isn’t the first time a movie has been made about Hoover. 1977’s The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover offered a much less flattering portrayal of the man.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Biographical Drama Director: Clint Eastwood Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench Movie Recommendations: The Ides of March The Iron Lady The King’s Speech WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 33
Imagine this face in 3D!
Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D
ack in 1999 The Phantom Menace introduced a whole new generation to the Star Wars saga cementing its position as one of the most loved film series of all time. Now, 12 years later, it looks set to do the same again only this time with an added dimension. Now fans old and new can experience the epic story as the Jedi, headed up by Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, battle the evil Trade Federation; face the menacing Darth Maul and save a queen along the way. Liam Neeson is best known for his powerful Oscar nominated performance in Schindler’s List but recently he has started to carve a niche in the action genre with 2008’s Taken. It didn’t happen overnight though. In Phantom Menace as Qui-Gon Jinn you can begin to see his more action oriented persona evolve. The young Obi-Wan Kenobi is tackled by Ewan McGregor who, back in 1999, was mostly only known in the UK for roles in gritty British dramas such as Trainspotting. It was Phantom Menace that gave him the
STAR WARS EPISODE 1 3D December 2011 break he truly deserved and saw him become an international star. The Phantom Menace saw George Lucas return to the director’s chair for the first time in 22 years when he helmed the very first Star Wars film, A New Hope. Who better to direct than the man who started it all and practically spawned a religious movement in 2001 urged people to claim their religion as Jedi on the national census. What better way to experience the force than on the big screen, and in 3D none the less? The Phantom Menace is perfect for the Palmer family with characters the kids will love and an involving story that the parents can get lost in, it truly has something for everyone. It’s likely that Billy’s first Star Wars experience in the cinema was The Phantom Menace, and it’s one that he’ll be eager to relive.
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FANTASTIC FACTS If The Phantom Menace 3D does well it’s likely the other movies in the saga will receive the same 3D treatment too. In an attempt to stop piracy, the movie was sent to cinemas under the name ‘The Doll House’.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Sci- Fi Director: George Lucas Starring: Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Ian McDiarmid Movie Recommendations: Star Trek Men in Black
PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL
Cruise returns for another impossible mission
ince 1996 Mission Impossible has exhilarated audiences with intense action and thrilling set pieces and, after a five year hiatus, Ethan Hunt is back. When the Kremlin is bombed, the finger is pointed at the IMF which is subsequently shut down. Now they must clear their name but to do so means going rogue. Tom Cruise reprises his role as Ethan Hunt, having tackled these impossible missions since the inception of the series. Cruise rarely does sequels, let alone three, but being such a tightly written and action packed trilogy of films, it’s no surprise he’s on board for a fourth. Ethan Hunt isn’t about to tackle this mission on his own though, he’s assisted by a team comprised of an all-star cast. Heading them up is Jeremy Renner, who is no stranger to the genre. He has been nominated for an Academy Award twice, in 2009 for The Hurt
Locker and again in 2010 for The Town. Everyone’s favourite film star geek Simon Pegg returns as Benji Dunn, having made his debut in Mission Impossible III. The Shaun of the Dead star proved there’s more to him than just comedy and looks to have his sights set on Hollywood. He’s joined by veteran Ving Rhames, reprising his role as hacker Luther Stickell, the only character besides Ethan Hunt to have appeared in every Mission Impossible instalment. As if all that wasn’t reason enough to rush to the cinema on release day, with J.J Abrams on board as producer you can be assured the film will deliver. After all, he also produced the blockbuster hits Cloverfield, Star Trek and Super 8 so he’s more than up to the task. After first hitting screens 15 years ago, it’s a given that Billy would’ve seen at least one of the instalments and the fourth is one he won’t want to miss. It’s not just over the top action and explosions, although you’ll get a serving of both, the film also has a gripping plot and a heart to the story which will win over Dan & Sarah.
FANTASTIC FACTS Director Brad Bird is taking his first foray into live action having previously helmed animated films such as The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Some scenes of the film were shot in IMAX so you can be assured the incredible action on display will look astounding.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Action Thriller Director: Brad Bird Starring: Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simen Pegg, Jeremy Renner Movie Recommendations: The Bourne Identity Quantum of Solance The Dark Knight WINTER 2011| PULSE MAGAZINE |35
The Woman in Black
his film is a far cry from the Harry Potter franchise where all Daniel Radcliffe had to worry about was a three headed dog and losing his invisible cloak. The Woman in Black sees him take on the much more mature role of Arthur Kipps in this theatre classic directed by The Descentʼs James Watkins. In this remake of the 1989 original we see Radcliffe as a young lawyer in the heart of London where he is called upon to settle the paperwork and legal affairs of the recently deceased Alice Drablow. On arrival at the Drablow manor, situated in a small remote village, he discovers that a series of inexplicable deaths have forced the parents of the village to hide their children safely indoors. Kipps stays the night alone in the manor where he experiences frightening sounds and terrifying sights that will haunt him forever. The main thing on Kippsʼ mind now is to find the answers he’s looking for but the
locals aren’t forthcoming with information, making his job even more difficult. After several encounters with his supernatural acquaintance, the ghost of a scorned woman haunting the manor, he sets himself the challenge of uncovering her identity and what she wants. Alongside Radcliffe is a strong cast including OBE winner Janet McTeer, previously seen in Tideland and Ciaran Hinds of Road to Perdition fame. This adaptation is set on vengeance and fear with the woman in black taking on a horrifying form and her curse hiding an even darker secret yet to be discovered. This chilling gothic thriller is more than your average teen horror and is taking ghost stories to a whole new depth of scary. Terrified audiences will include Billy and his mates who are sure to be spooked by the image of the woman in black and Dan and Sarah will be there too, watching with one eye closed.
THE WOMAN IN BLACK February 2012
FANTASTIC FACTS The movie was planned to be filmed in 3D but the idea was scrapped just days before shooting began. Mark Gatiss, who has written a number of television series, was asked to write the screenplay but he turned it down. Jane Goldman took his place.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Horror Director: James Watkins Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciaran Hinds Movie Recommendations: The Amityville Horror The Devil Inside The Lost Tapes
Radcliffe swaps wizards for ghosts as lawyer Kipps
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his is another action-packed thriller by David Espinosa who is famous for previously directing 2010 action movie Easy Money. It is jam-packed with the usual car chases, punch-ups and villainous gangsters that make the action/thriller genre so popular. In this case, these gangsters are determined not to give young trainee CIA agent Matt Weston an easy ride. The CIA are guarding dangerous criminal Tobin Frost in a safe house after an angry group of villains turn on him. This situation obviously does not come without its own complications as the facility is attacked several times by assassins who want their only witness dead. Ryan Reynolds plays Weston, the only CIA agent left standing, who has been left with sole responsibility for Frost始s safety as they are forced to flee for their lives to another safe and private location with the enemy hot on their heels. Reynolds, of Van Wilder and Buried success, is accompanied in this fastpaced action movie by a star-studded cast including acting legend and double Oscar winner Denzel Washington who stars as troublemaker and target for the assassins, Frost. This alone is proof that this dangerously thrilling cinema ride will be a fantastic movie to look forward to in 2012. With intense fast paced scenes of danger throughout, this really is the perfect movie for Billy and even JJ to get their action fix. Although a very male oriented cast, it will generate some keen interest from Jane and her friends with hunk Ryan Reynolds as lead. It will certainly satisfy Dan and Sarah with its clever plot and intrepid execution.
PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS
Washington causes trouble as dangerous criminal
SAFE HOUSE May 2011 FANTASTIC FACTS Filming took place in Cape Town where, whilst shooting a driving scene, an unintended collision occurred. Luckily only the cars were damaged.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Action/ Thriller Director: Daniel Espinosa Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Denzel Washington, Robert Patrick Movie Recommendations: Flight The Croods WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 37
Family favourites return to the big screen.
the muppets the Muppets
ust what are The Muppets up to these days? Well, it turns out that Fozzie Bear is performing in a tribute band called The Moopets, Miss Piggy is a fashion editor, Animal is undergoing anger management while Gonzo has gone into the plumbing business. It’s up to Kermit the Frog and Walter, the world’s biggest Muppets fan, to reunite the gang and save the Muppet Theatre. Helping them out along the way is Walter’s brother Gary, Jason Segel, and and his girlfriend Mary, Amy Adams. A huge Muppets fan, it was Segel that helped get the ball rolling on this new instalment when he pitched the idea to Disney in 2008. Segel has been going from strength to strength over the last few years with a string of comedy roles under his belt including Forgetting Sarah Marshall and I Love You, Man. He’s perhaps best known for appearing in the hugely popular TV series How I Met Your Mother. Usually appearing in comedies, Amy Adams last year proved there was more to
The Muppets is the first theatrical outing for Jim Henson’s creations in the last 12 years. her than that earning an Academy Awards nomination for her role in The Fighter. Now though, she is back in familiar territory and that is no bad thing at all. She makes the perfect sidekick to Kermit and friends, what more could you want? Taking on director’s duties is James Bobin, a man who is no stranger to comedy. He helped create the characters Ali G, Borat and Bruno as well as co-creating the successful television series Flight of the Conchords. This will be his first time directing a feature film but, with such a flawless career in TV, there’s no doubt that he’s the man to bring The Muppets back to the big screen. The Muppets is the epitome of Palmer family fun. Which child wouldn’t be enamoured by the colourful cast of puppets? With a whole slew of cameos and some fantastic humour the parents will be kept entertained too. It’s also a film that JJ will love, and even Beryl may be interested to know what The Muppets are up to since their first appearance in 1955.
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A new Toy Story short, Small Fry, is set to be shown prior to The Muppets being screened. In the run up to release, several trailers were released parodying other films including The Fuzzy Pack (The Hangover Pt. II), Being Green (Green Lantern), and The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). You can expect to see an all-star cast of cameo performances including Ricky Gervais, Emily Blunt, George Clooney and Ben Stiller.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Comedy Director: James Bobin Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Kermit the Frog Movie Recommendations: The Smurfs Yogi Bear Alvin and the Chipmunks
PULSE FILMS IN FOCUS
Heartwarming friendship between man and beast.
war horse war horse
egendary director Steven Spielberg returns and, after several films dealing with the Second World War, it is the First World War that provides the backdrop for War Horse. At the outbreak of the conflict Albert Narracott suffers the heartbreak of his beloved horse Joey being sold to the cavalry. Despite not being old enough to enlist, Albert sets off on a dangerous journey to find Joey and bring him home. Playing Albert Narracott is newcomer Jeremy Irvine who’s landed an opportunity of a lifetime just a few years into his career. Having studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, Irvine secured a role in the TV show Life Bites, followed by an appearance with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Irvine may not have years of experience behind him but a long auditioning process gave Spielberg confidence that he could carry such a role. Playing Albert’s parents are Emily Watson and Peter Mullan, two veterans who showcase the undeniable talent of British
actors. Watson has been involved in radio, theatre and film for the last twenty years. Her big screen debut came in 2006, appearing in Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves and picking up an Academy Award nomination in the process. Peter Mullan was last seen in this year’s award winning Tyrannosaur, the directorial debut of fellow Brit Paddy Considine. No stranger to working with big names, Mullan’s first film The Big Man saw him perform alongside Liam Neeson, Billy Connolly and Hugh Grant. Based on a critically acclaimed book, and directed by one of the most celebrated living film makers, it seems War Horse is almost bound to become a classic. With such a fantastic British cast displaying their talents too, it certainly isn’t one to be missed. With a storyline that tugs at the heartstrings and a World War I setting, this is a film that Dan & Sarah will love. Jane & her friends will be well served too, and Beryl will be drawn in by the story of a boy and his desire to track down his lost horse.
Richard Curtis, who is also known for writing Love Actually, Notting Hill, and founding Comic Relief, helped pen the screenplay. War Horse was filmed entirely in England with shooting taking place in Devon, Hampshire and Wiltshire. The War Horse novel was first published in 1982 and was adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford in 2007. During filming, 13 different horses were used to portray the main horse character Joey.
KNOW YOUR STUFF Genre: Drama Director: Steven Spielberg Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, David Thewlis Movie Recommendations: Harry Potter Alice In Wonderland Water For Elephants
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 39
Competition corner has gone Christmassy this issue. Enjoy the puzzles and enter our competition to win a years supply of chocolate. Well done to BETHANY COOPER from Empire Hemel Hempstead who was last issues winner.
Put these films in order by the date they were released, earliest to most recent.. Look out for bonus points too! For the chance to win a years supply of chocolate, courtesy of Cadbury’s, just email Pulse with the list in order with dates, your name, cinema, contact details and favourite Cadbury’s chocolate to email@example.com. HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
THE SANTA CLAUSE
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (ORIGINAL) BONUS POINT: When was the remake made?
THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL
Hollywood is getting in the Christmas spirit and a few A-listers are dressed up as Santa Claus. Do you recognise them?
40 | PULSE MAGAZINE | winter 2011
PULSE COMPETITION CORNER
SPOT THE CANDY CANES There are 8 candy canes hidden in this Arthur Christmas snapshot. Can you find them all?
- ANSWERS -
WHO’S SANTA 1. Denzel Washington 2. Robert Downey Junior 3. Natalie Portman
SPOT THE CANDY CANES
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 41
STAR P O T T I N G
Celebrities love a good movie as much as the rest of us and PULSE wants to know what famous faces have visited your Empire. This issue weâ€™ve heard from Empire Clydebank and Empire Poole about their star studded customers.
empire Clydebank GUESTLIST Peter Capaldi Robbie Coltrane Jeremy Irons Terry Gilliam Rhys Ifans Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Rick Alessi Marti Pellow Wet Wet Wet Barry McGuigan Kevin Bridges Derek Lord Jonathon Watson Karen Dunbar Greg Hemphill Ford Kiernan Paul Gasgoine Mark Hately Brian Laudrup 1990s Rangers team
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PULSE STAR SPOTTING
EMPIRE poole GUESTLIST
Prince William Prince Harry Prince Andrew Jimmy Carr Jason Manford Peter Serafinowichz Ray Quinn Jonathan Ross Graham Souness Steve Fletcher Darren Anderton David James Harry Rednapp Sol Campbell Michael Kitchen Pauline Quirke Tamsin Gregg Nigel Havers Jeremy Irons Martin Kemp Daniel Beddingfield Diversity Howard Donald
STAR SPOTTING LEADERBOARD EMPIRE SWINDON EMPIRE POOLE EMPIRE CLYDEBANK EMPIRE NEWCASTLE
26 23 20 8
WINTER 2011 | PULSE MAGAZINE | 43
Weve trick or treated Newcastle, Hemel Hempstead and Sutton into sharing their Halloween pictures.... and what a sight they are.