“I would say it's been phenomenal,” said Justin. “I've been overwhelmed by the number of people who have come down today, into Friars Walk. A number of people have said, 'I wouldn't normally come to Newport, but Friars Walk is open, and I'm definitely going to come again', so clearly, Newport's now reaching out to a new audience, which I think is great and that's what this has all been designed for. It's been a fantastic day; I've been blown away.”
Kerrie stated that she'd been in the cinema for the better part of the day, but said that “the atmosphere we've had in the cinema from customers walking in has been fantastic. Everyone's been so positive,” she added.
“I would question that it's a luxury because going to the cinema is still one of the cheapest forms of entertainment,” Justin stated, jumping straight in. He added that “You can get a ticket for as low as £1.75” and said that “You've also got your unlimited card. So for £16.90 a month, you can go and see as many movies as you like.”
Kerrie added, “I've seen people bragging about how much they've saved in the last year.” Also, “Customers that we've spoken to today are so excited to have a cinema back in the city centre. That's something they've all really been looking forward to,”
“Not at all”, Justin stated. “We're going to programme the two cinemas as one. We see them very much complimenting each other. The management have got targets to grow our unlimited base as one, rather than one versus the other.”
“We've created 40 new jobs here”, Kerrie stated. “All of them are team members; we haven't opened up with any official supervisors, so they all have the potential to progress straight away as well. And I do know that, from our interview, one or two people gained a job over at Spytty as well.”
“I don't think so; I think it will contribute” [to local businesses], said Kerrie. “I love Newport. Friars Walk isn't going to turn me away from my local corner shop or the butchers that I know I like. If anything, it should help me spend in town more.”
Justin added that Friars Walk has “Become a magnet; so you can have more people drawn into Newport. One the contrary, it's going to be great for local business because the volume of people coming into Newport. People won't just stay in Friars Walk; they'll go and see the tourist attractions and they'll walk into the centre of town, so it's good for the whole of the local economy.”
After a lot of thought from both Kerrie and Justin, Justin stepped in with his answer first, saying that Spectre was his favourite release this year. “I was lucky enough to go to the Royal Albert Hall for the royal premier of Spectre. It blew me away. It's action-packed; I love the fact that it makes lovely reference back to the old Bond. It ticks all the boxes for me.”
“For me”, Kerrie started, “it's got to have been Fast and Furious 7. I love Paul Walker and Vin Desiel. It did not disappoint me.”
As you can see from their answers, Kerrie and Justin have a lot of positivity and hope for Newport, now that Friars Walk is here. They also look forward to seeing the growth of their cinema, as well as the local businesses that surround them.