Page last updated at 13:34 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

New cinema opens at city hospital

Hospital cinema at the RVI
Youngsters and staff celebrate the opening of the cinema

A 50-seat cinema showing the latest box office releases is to be opened for patients at a Newcastle Hospital.

The specially-built auditorium at the Royal Victoria Infirmary boasts a big screen, 35mm projector, surround sound and spaces for beds and wheelchairs.

Charity MediCinema, which worked with the hospital to build the cinema, is planning a test screening of Disney's A Christmas Carol on Thursday.

The digital cinema will rely on features donated by film distributors.

Lecture theatre

Sir Leonard Fenwick, of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The trust is committed to providing quality care and offering new facilities that will bring added value to the patient experience.

"MediCinema more than fits this approach with the therapeutic benefits it offers to patients, their families and carers.

"The screening will provide a much welcome social occasion off the wards."

Patients will be able to watch films with family members and nursing staff will be in attendance to offer medical aid if needed.

The auditorium, which is located within the main atrium of the hospital's new Victoria Wing and cost more than £250,000, will also serve as a lecture theatre.

A ceremony to mark its opening is being staged on Monday afternoon.

MediCinema has two other hospital cinemas, at St Thomas' in London and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Yorkhill, Glasgow.

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