Community cinema to open in Dewsbury town centre

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FAMILIES will soon be able to watch films on the big screen in Dewsbury once more thanks to a group of movie enthusiasts.

Together they are founding a not-for-profit community cinema which is due to open its doors in the autumn.

The New Picture House team will temporarily transform an empty shop unit into a cinema.

John Harrison said: “The idea has been kicking around for a long time really.

“We wanted to do something not-for-profit using volunteers and do something ourselves to improve the nighttime experience, however temporarily, in Dewsbury.

“We’re all film enthusiasts so it’s coming out of a love for film and wanting to share that in an environment we’ve all contributed towards. The stress is on a communal, shared experience of cinema.”

Dewsbury was once home to five cinemas, the last of which closed in 1993.

The New Picture House will be built by volunteers using materials donated by local businesses and theatre seats reclaimed from Dewsbury Little Theatre in Batley Carr.

The team is in talks with landlords and hopes to be able to confirm the venue shortly.

It is also close to finalising the line-up for its first season, which is likely to include eight feature films and a selection of short films.

Mr Harrison said: “We’ve been working hard on that. We want films that appeal but aren’t your usual multiplex fare.

“The first season will almost be a tasting menu. We’ve shortlisted quite a variety of hopefully very different films to appeal to a lot of different people.

Screenings are likely to take place over two weekends, although this depends on the final choice of venue.

The cinema is already offering guest memberships for single screenings, part season memberships for four screenings, or a full membership for all screenings via its website,

Pick up a copy of Friday’s Reporter for more on the cinema and the films to be screened.