Plymouth’s £53million cinema and restaurant complex is going to be officially named The Barcode – because it looks just like one.
The complex, up until now known as Drake Circus Leisure, is being rebranded by bosses at The British Land Company Plc, which is having the Bretonside complex built.
They said its new moniker, Drake Circus The Barcode, is “inspired by the nickname given to it by local residents”, believed to have been coined in a story on Plymouth Live in June 2018.
In a piece headlined “Bretonside is coming to life before our eyes – and it looks like a giant barcode”, Plymouth Live wrote: “Some people have likened the building to a giant barcode.”
No earlier mention of the leisure development’s likeness to a machine-readable code in the form of numbers and a pattern of parallel lines of varying widths, printed on a commodity and used especially for stock control, can be found from an internet trawl.
British Land chiefs said the development – which will include a Cineworld multiplex alongside restaurants, indoor crazy golf and a sky bar – has “a striking monochrome stripe design that has been compared to a barcode by locals”.
Architects working on the project had been told to create a building that reflected “the locality of the city near the waterside” and came up with “tri-coloured vertical fins set in contrasting colour changing ‘chameleon’ rainscreen cladding panels” designed to “help break up the elevation” and “create visual interest”.
The result was immediately likened to a barcode, but also to a pair of Adidas trews, a Newcastle United shirt, Bridget Riley artwork, a dazzle ship, piano keys, roadside chevrons, a zebra, a magnetic field, Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures album sleeve, and, perhaps most appropriately, a clapperboard.
But The Barcode appears to have been the box office winner, and signage bearing the new name will begin to appear on the site soon, as the project moves into its final stages ahead of opening around October.
The new name had already excited logophile city council leader Tudor Evans who went into alliteration hyperactive mode and said: “The Barbican; The Box and now The Barcode. Brilliant – bring it on.”
The Barcode, which will span more than 100,000sq ft, is set to become a major visitor attraction in Plymouth.
It will house a 12-screen Cineworld IMAX 4DX cinema – the first IMAX in Devon and Cornwall – as well as Paradise Island Adventure Golf and new dining brands including Zizzi, Five Guys, Nando’s and Cosy Club. Plus, 400 new car park spaces will be available.
The complex will also bring a jobs boost for the city with about 350 people needed. Already Cineworld has started to recruit 82 staff and recruitment is beginning for its associated Starbucks outlet, and at Zizzi and for security staff.
Pun-loving Cllr Evans said: “In the past few weeks we’ve seen jobs being advertised and new businesses signing up to commit their futures to Plymouth. It’s all coming along nicely and I can’t wait to scan through The Barcode for the first time.”
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Meanwhile, Greg Lumley, centre director at Drake Circus Shopping Centre, also owned by British Land, said: “It has been fantastic to see our new development become known as The Barcode, it’s clearly a name that has stuck with residents and it would seem odd to name it anything else now.
“We’re on track with the works on site and it’s exciting to now be counting down the weeks to opening.
“We’ll be announcing the official launch date soon.”