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Friday, 19 December 2014

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New Barrow cinema room brings golden age of silver screen back to life

A DECADE on from the demolition of Barrow’s last remaining art deco cinema, a young entrepreneur has brought its memory back to life.

Film enthusiast Bryn Tyson, 20, has turned his dream into reality, opening his own retro cinema in Barrow town centre.

The ABC Cinema Room – named in tribute to the Associated British Cinemas chain which ran the former Ritz cinema in Abbey Road until the 1970s – opened to the public last week, marking six months of painstaking work by the former Parkview pupil.

A disused meeting room in the old Conservative Club, further down Abbey Road, has been transformed into a 19-seat, single-screen picture house, utilising vintage equipment and styled in tribute to the golden age of the silver screen.

“I’ve always loved films, ever since I first went to the cinema as a child,” said Mr Tyson, a freelance sound engineer.

“I bought an old 35mm projector in December just to play around with at home – I had no idea I’d be running my own cinema a few months down the line.”

Help and advice was at hand from Northern Morris Cinemas owner Charles Morris, as well as local cinema expert Mark Latimer and retired Essoldo projectionist Brian Crawford, while seating was donated by Ulverston’s Roxy and the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal, and the 9ft by 5ft screen came from the old Apollo in Morecambe.

When the old Barrow cinema, also later renamed the Apollo, was pulled down in 2004, Bryn asked workmen if he could keep a piece. He spent months restoring the ornate detailing, and the plasterwork has inspired the decor in the new boutique cinema room.

In keeping with the authentic theme, prior to each screening a series of old-fashioned adverts will be shown using the 35mm projector before reverting to digital for the main event. There will also be an intermission, with ice-cream to enhance the authentic experience, will Mr Jones beavers away behind the scene as head projectionist.

He said: “Everything’s been designed like a proper cinema, with surround sound speakers and a proper screen. There’s nothing else like this in the area.”

Admission is free though there is a suggested donation of £2.

Mr Jones said: “Everyone who’s been has loved it, I think because it has a unique atmosphere.”

“As long as it’s out on DVD we can show any film you want, and if you get a large group of you it’s less than half the price of going to one of the big cinemas.

Look out for monthly listings in the Evening Mail’s What’s On pages. To hire the cinema, call 07581 273331.

Have your say

I attended the launch night, was an enjoyable evening, comfortable and nice to see the hard work and dedication this young man has shown.
Will highly recommend to everyone

Posted by Reb Ster on 30 July 2014 at 03:26

Excellent idea!!! Loved going to the pictures as a kid . Will def. be popping in next time I'm home :)

Posted by Lee on 25 July 2014 at 01:56

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