In 2008 I set out to build a small independent two screen cinema and cafe bar where people could enjoy a value for money two-course meal and film under one roof. The idea of a meal and a film was nothing new, but I did believe that people would enjoy it more if they could eat and chat in a relaxed atmosphere and then be invited to wander over to their screen and watch a film in a small, peaceful cinema in their especially reserved seats. I thought it was a romantic idea, enchanting...simple really. I was going to float through this on a wave of measured optimism, sound business experience and realistic goals and timescales.
By the time the business opened in August 2013, I looked exactly like a spectacular ‘Grand Designs’ style disaster. I had that slightly wild, forced, entrenched and delusional look about me all the time. I had purchased land without any finance, been through four rounds of planning, been turned down by 7 banks, sold everything I’d ever owned except a ten-year-old car, changed the architectural plans 53 times and along the way had picked up two digital projectors I didn’t know how to work. I had no home, no pension plan and no job. I never slept, I barely ate, I regularly made lists at 4am, I was, definitely, without doubt, completely bonkers.
That was nine years ago; nine incredible and quite scary, life changing years. Once I opened the doors, the support I received was simply unbelievable. I have certainly felt every bump along the road, some more brutally bone shaking than others but I’m also incredibly proud of The Red Carpet and its place within the local community.
More recently of course the outbreak of Covid forced me to close for almost an entire year. Your help and support by writing 5* reviews on Trip Advisor and buying gift vouchers even when you had no idea when you'd be able to spend them was overwhelming. I was lucky enough to be interviewed three times by Midlands Today and I was also a grateful recipient of a BFI Grant. Looking forward there’s now rapidly rising inflation and utility costs to cope with but in business, there’s always something difficult to overcome and I love it here and will do my utmost to stick to my original core principles of delivering a value for money two course meal and film under one roof.
To everyone who chooses The Red Carpet, I can’t thank you enough for your support.
Here's to an exciting, film packed future.