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Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 11:31 UK
Small cinema club marks return of movies to Oldham
Small cinema sign
Oldham hasn't had its own cinema since 2005

One of the UK's smallest cinemas is to open in an empty shop unit in Oldham.

The Small Oldham Cinema Club, which has just 30 seats, has been set up by college student Sophie Barrott to show the demand for a cinema in the town.

For a month, the mini movie theatre is screening a number of classic films opening with the comic zombie flick, Shaun of the Dead.

Oldham hasn't had its own cinema since the Hollinwood Roxy closed its doors in 2005.


If people in Oldham want to go and watch a movie, they have to travel to one of the big multiplexes in Rochdale, Ashton or Manchester.

Sophie Barrott
A lot of people have been confused what it is but now we've got the curtains up, everyone's like, 'Oh God, it's a cinema, for once!
Sophie Barrott, Small Cinema Club

That is, until teenager Sophie Barrott, 17, embarked on a mission to bring the magic of the movies back to Oldham.

"Everyone's always moaning about how Oldham needs a cinema," she said.

"I was one of those people, moaning on to my mum, and she said, 'someone needs to do something about it'."

"That's easy to say, because more often than not, you're not going to be that someone. But I decided, right then, that I wanted to be that someone."

After lobbying the Arts Council for a grant of £2,000, Sophie and her friends have transformed the disused tourist information shop on Albion Street into one of the UK's smallest picture houses.

They have painted the walls black, hung red velvet curtains, installed a projector, a screen and 30 cinema seats and are now ready for their grand opening on Thursday 12 August.

"A lot of people have been confused what it is but now we've got the curtains up everyone's like, 'Oh God, it's a cinema, for once.'


The programme includes ten one-off screenings of movies such as Donnie Darko, An American Beauty and Pulp Fiction.

Inside the small cinema
The cinema is in a former tourist information shop

"My friend Nathan is sorting out the tickets on the door, my boyfriend Shaun is helping with taking people to their seats, and my mum and my brother are going to be upstairs helping with the popcorn and drinks.

"And I'm going to be the all-rounder just making everything runs smoothly."

Adding finally: "We're thinking of doing something similar at Christmas and hopefully if this is popular we can approach funders and tell them how well it went.

"And then we can do it more often maybe once a month. But a more permanent cinema would be amazing."

For more information go to http://smallcinema.blog.co.uk/

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