The new community cinema in Middleton by Wirksworth is already proving a blockbuster success just six months after its first screening.
The cinema opened in September with a sold-out celebratory screening of the Greatest Showman, after residents raised around £11,000 to kit out their village hall with state-of-the-art equipment and new seats.
The monthly event has continued to be popular, with around 50 people of all ages showing up to see Wonder on February 16.
Rod Alvin, a member of the cinema’s organising committee, said: “People in the village love having a proper night out where they can walk down here, get a drink at the bar, and everyone comes together to enjoy a big screen film.
“It opens that experience up to lots of residents in the village who don’t have easy access to the cinema. It would usually mean driving to Chesterfield or Derby and then paying quite a bit for a ticket.”
He added: “Of course there is the Northern Light cinema in Wirksworth, but that can seat about half as many as we can, and we are doing something slightly different.
As well as the regular monthly events, the cinema is also available for use by Middleton’s many social groups, including recent screenings by the village school, gardening club, and rock climbers.
The idea grew out of informal screenings held by landlady Jane Monaghan on a backroom television at the Nelson Arms pub.
Rod said: “It took about 18 months from the idea first being raised, and we were very lucky to get funding from the National Lottery, Co-op, and an anonymous donor in the village who gave us £1,000.
“People have been very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sound and picture. It’s quite an impressive set-up for a village hall.
The next film showing will be Death at a Funeral on Saturday, March 16, followed by Bohemian Rhapsody on April 13.
Adult tickets cost £4, while admission for under-16s is £2.
For more details, see https://goo.gl/r5EhWP.