Ilkley Cinema & Baby Driver Review

Ilkley Cinema is located very centrally in Ilkley, and parking in the surrounding streets is easy. The cinema is about a 5-minute walk from the bus and train station. You can book tickets in advance online, or phone up and make a reservation, the cinema is pretty small so it is definitely worthwhile reserving your ticket before your visit to avoid disappointment.

ilkley cinema

Although the ticket prices are slightly more expensive than you would be charged at the multiplex, when you take into consideration the petrol costs and time it takes to get yourself over to Kirkstall, it actually is probably much the same. For comparison, you can see below that the cost of an adult ticket for a Tuesday night showing of Baby Driver at Kirkstall Vue, compared to Ilkley Cinema is just £2.

Ilkley Cinema: £12.45
Vue Kirkstall: £10.49

If you are visiting Ilkley especially to go to the cinema, depending on the time of your showing, there are plenty of other lovely things to do in the area! If the weather is good you could stroll around the park, or call in at the wonderful Toast House for an avocado on sourdough!

After climbing up the short flight of stairs (there is a lift available) you enter into the modern bar area of the cinema, then round the corner is a seating area, and then there is the screening room. There is also an outdoor seating area if you are lucky enough to visit when it isn’t raining. On my recent visit, and on previous visits, I have always been so impressed by the friendly and cheerful staff, who are so quick to welcome you in and look after you.

ilkley cinema sofa

You can order food to eat before the film, or it can be brought to you whilst you’re in the cinema before the film starts. The staff can also bring drinks to you whilst you’re seated in the cinema, so you can enjoy tea and cake or a glass of wine whilst you’re enjoying the film. You can also buy sweets which are served in special non-rustling bags, an idea that should be taken up more widely!

On my visit, we sampled the Margherita pizza and the kimchi noodles in chicken broth. The pizza had plenty of cheese… just the way I like it! Fortunately we ate it in the seating area before the film, I think trying to eat either of those dishes in the dark could have ended up being quite messy!

ilkley cinema pizza ilkley cinema food

The quality of the screen and the sound is as good as the multiplexes, and the sound was certainly tested by the film we went to see, Baby Driver, which has an amazing soundtrack.

Baby Driver 


Baby Driver is the new film from director Edgar Wright and it deserves and will probably get, a wider audience than just people who like car chase movies.

The plot is pretty simple, a young guy inadvertently steals a car containing a great deal of money from a criminal mastermind and ends up working for said criminal mastermind, becoming a getaway driver for him to pay off his debt. This he has almost done, but in the best cinematic tradition, there is always one more job to be done. The twist to this is that Baby, the eponymous hero of our story has tinnitus which is basically a permanent rining in the ears, as a result of a car accident when he was younger.

He listens to music all the time to block out the effects of the tinnitus and plans his getaway driving around certain favourite tracks.

In the course of the film, he meets and falls in love with a beautiful waitress but having to drive for one last robbery throws a shadow over whether or not this is a film with a happy ending. The film has two set pieces at the start, one being a car chase, and the other a long tracking shot of Baby walking through the city, set to the tune of Harlem Shuffle, with the things that are happening on the street, being set in time to the music. All clever stuff, and you probably need to see this a few times to get all the references.

The acting is pretty good, considering the rather stereotypical characters, but they’re helped out by some good dialogue. Kevin Spacey is a convincing criminal mastermind but then again, it is Kevin Spacey, need I say more? Ansel Elgort, as Baby, looks out of place with the hardened criminals he is teemed up with, and Lily James, moves from princess to waitress, and this role won’t have done her career any harm at all.

The supporting cast all chip in with good performances, the bank robbers all look the part; everyone has a nickname and disturbingly psychopathic tendancies towards shooting people, but you still feel strangely sympathicic towards them. In the wrong hands, this film could have been a total disaster, a sort of film version of grand theft auto, but with real actors. The fact that it isn’t is quite a testimony to the director, whose following films I imagine a lot of people will follow with interest.

On paper, the music, which is such an integral part of the film, looks like a strange mixture. You have some modern rap, and a few classics such as Harlem Shuffle, but also quite a few old rock tunes by 1970’s bands like Focus, and Golden Earring. The fact that the soundtrack is so mixed works in its favour. This is not high-art, but it is high-entertainment and seems to combine a touch of arthouse with mainstream cinema.

Definitely one to watch on the big screen, and wait to see what this film director does next.



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