"Some people go to the club, some people go to the bar, and some people go to the cinema," says Croydon-born presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams.

Last week, Rickie enjoyed a night of luxury in the all-new renovated Vue Cinema in Purley Way.

Featuring new Seat and Snack touchscreens along with recliner seats in every screen, Rickie couldn't wait to swap his seat behind the mic for one in-front of the big screen.

Along with his family and friends, he switched off from the outside world and escaped to a private screening of LOL Surprise.

"As soon as you walk in the doors it’s like a brand-new cinema. Everything is shiny, new, clean and fresh," says the BBC Radio 1 presenter.

He added: "The recliner is insane, it's more comfortable than watching TV at home."

Wimbledon Times:

Vue Purley Way was Rickie's favourite place to be whilst growing up.

He recalls going there from when it first opened in 1996.

I remember thinking oh my gosh there is a brand-new cinema in my area, at the time the retail park was quite new as well.

"It was somewhere new to go, my cousin lived nearby, and my brother worked there too so I spent a lot of my time at the cinema.

"And with me being a film buff, it was my spot."

Speaking about some of his favourite memories, he said: "I have some many- I watched a lot of the Star Wars prequels and the Matrix movies there.

The queue for the 2nd Matrix movie started from where you buy the popcorn, all the way down to the lobby and outside the door.

"My daughters 3rd birthday was celebrated watching Shaun the Sheep."

Wimbledon Times:

Being a 'film buff', Rickie speaks about the difference of watching a film at home vs at the Vue.

"It’s the whole experience about going to the cinema; from choosing the film to getting dressed up and figuring out whom to go with.

"Up to the journey there, the popcorn, the nachos and the pick a mix. Its escapism," he said.

Rickie added: 

Things like Netflix are a massive part of life now and society but for me, whenever there is a big movie coming out, I will only watch it in the cinema.

"For example, I need to see the new James Bond movie in the cinema.

"And I will go to the Vue to watch it, one million per cent."

Wimbledon Times:

He added:

In the current climate, with the pandemic and with mental health being the forefront of people’s minds (which is a great thing).

"The fact that we can use the cinema to get out of our homes safely, with our close bubble is massively important."

On top of the state-of-the-art upgrade, Vue has also ramped up their health and safety measures.

"I was happily surprised at the lengths they went to, to make the experience as safe as possible," says Rickie.

He added: "All the staff had PPE on, there was sanitizer everywhere and clear social distancing markings.

Wimbledon Times:

Vue has increased the number of self-purchase screens

"When I went into the toilets, I was like woah it was like being at Disneyland!

"Everything was sensory, you didn't have to touch a thing."

Rickie's family loved the film and rated the new look 11/10!

"Vue has nailed it. The cinema is phenomenal, people should go whilst it still has that fresh feeling," he said.

To see film showings visit the Vue Cinema.

Rickie Haywood Williams is working with Vue to showcase The Recliner at Vue Croydon Purley Way.