Independent Shropshire cinema leaves customers spellbound

An independent cinema is driving the cultural renaissance in a small corner of Shropshire is digging deep to keep open and keep the reels rolling.

Harry Potter films will be shown in sequence, over eight consecutive Thursdays
Harry Potter films will be shown in sequence, over eight consecutive Thursdays

In 2019 Wellington Orbit was converted from an old bank into a fully fledged 63 Cinema, funded by a community share issue, donations, social enterprise loans and a grant from the local council. Over £500k invested in the Arts Centre delivered just what the community wanted.

The business was growing its audience until Covid came along. The government forced the doors to close at the end of March following many sell-out showings of films like Parasite, Military Wives, Downton and the epic 1917. Back in July, at the first opportunity, the doors were opened once again and despite the lost momentum the audience is returning.

Chairman Phillip Morris-Jones MBE takes up the story “An army of volunteers and the staff made the place Covid safe, we opened back up and hoped to pick up where we left off. Sadly, the films that we knew would be fantastic for our audience have been pulled by the distributors time and time again making it tough to put schedules together.

“We’ve seen the effect that it’s had on the big Cinema groups, for Wellington Orbit with just one screen and 63 seats reduced to 40 due to Covid, it was time to rethink what we were going to do. The easiest thing would be to close the doors, but we owe it to our community to do all we can to keep the project alive.”

The lack of new content from distributors meant crawling through the back-catalogue for films that could still appeal to the Orbit audience. One night at a film & marketing
meeting, Harry Potter Thursdays were magicked up. And the audience loved it.
Liam McClelland volunteers on the marketing group as well as at the box office on
Thursday nights “We are showing each Harry Potter film, in sequence, over eight
consecutive Thursdays, and from day one, we knew we were on the right track.

“We’ve seen a new audience demographic, customers dressing up, and even bringing film props along to show other fans. Sharing the photos on our social media has been great, showing people having a great time, and really entering into the spirit of Harry Potter and the joy it brings.”

The cinema is also hosting special film nights, shining a light on Cult and Classic movies where the audience get a chance to talk to each other about the film with a drink afterwards. Local film makers are also getting involved, showing their production on the big screen and having a Q&A session afterwards.

While there is no doubt that UK Cinema has had a rough ride this year, compounded by the delay of the long awaited Bond film until next year, it’s not all doom & gloom. “Having just sold out of both our showings of the Ball & Boe Cinema Live concert, we have managed to squeeze an extra showing in for those people who have missed out.” said Liam.

Shropshire Live
Shropshire Live has been providing Shropshire with independent news and entertainment since 2009. Send us your news to interact@shropshirelive.com or call 01743 818 095. For advertising information call Fiona on 01743 816 817.
Advertise with us for £50 per week

Advertisement Feature

Simply Ribbons is not what you would expect in more ways than one!

Catering for individuals, small businesses and multinationals Simply Ribbons offer high-quality ribbons from UK and European manufacturers.
Telford College - Employer incentives 1

Telford College offers cash incentives to local employers

Telford College is offering Government-funded cash incentives to Shropshire employers, to give young people a helping hand with their careers.
- Advertising -
Advertise with Shropshire Live for £50 per week

Two arrested in connection with county lines drug dealing

Two people have been arrested in connection with county lines drug dealing in Shropshire.

Overwhelming support for reducing traffic in Shrewsbury town centre, says survey

There is overwhelming support for reducing the number of vehicles driving through the centre of Shrewsbury, according to a survey.
Coleham Primary School in Shrewsbury. Photo: Shropshire Council

School Street initiative launches outside Shrewsbury primary school

A Shrewsbury street has today become the first ‘School Street’ in the county, enabling children to be dropped off and picked up in a safe and socially-distanced way.

FA Cup Round 2 Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 1 – 0 Oxford City (AET)

Shrewsbury Town required extra time to edge past non-league Oxford City as Steve Cotterill takes charge for the first time.

FA Cup Round 2 Match Preview: Shrewsbury Town V Oxford City

The post Sam Ricketts era at Shrewsbury Town begins with a second round FA Cup tie against non-league Oxford City.
shrewsbury-town-badge-generic

Shrewsbury Town appoint Steve Cotterill as manager

Shrewsbury Town has moved swiftly to appoint vastly experienced Steve Cotterill on a three-and-a-half-year deal.
- Advertising -
Hanna Sebright with critical care paramedic Ryan Ferris at the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity headquarters

Shropshire Chamber welcomes Midlands Air Ambulance Charity as Corporate member

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, which has an operational base at RAF Cosford, is the latest organisation to become a Corporate member of Shropshire Chamber of Commerce.
Claire Flavell, Director of Care at Bluebird Care Shropshire

Bluebird Care’s Claire Flavell reaches finals of Covid Heroes Awards

Claire Flavell, the Director of Care at Bluebird Care Shropshire, has reached the final of the Bluebird Care Covid Heroes Awards.
Carl Jones and Chris Pritchard welcome viewers to the latest show

Shropshire Business Live TV returns for its latest show

Shropshire Business Live TV, a collaboration between three local media organisations, returned on Thursday 26 November with a brand new live show.
The lights and music will be on daily from 4:30pm through to 10pm

Charity Christmas lights shine bright in Higher Heath

For the third year running, a house in Twemlows Avenue, Higher Heath, Whitchurch will be decked with lights in aid of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC).
Denise Kerr

Oswestry nursery manager launches debut children’s book

A manager from a local Oswestry Nursery, Jeanette Pearson-Tanner, has launched her debut children’s book – ‘The Pre School Detectives’.
Year 5 have made an early bid in the hope of becoming the next ‘Reading Champions!

Readers reap the rewards at Ellesmere Primary School

Bookworms at Ellesmere Primary School have caught the reading bug with the launch of a new initiative to get them excited about literature.
- Advertising -
Ludlow’s annual Medieval Christmas Fayre - Knight

Stage is set to enjoy online 2020 Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre

Final preparations are being made before the annual Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre gets under way online this weekend.
Fundraiser Nic Sciarillo from Hope House in Oswestry

A great Christmas night out bought indoors by Hope House Children’s Hospices

While the traditional Christmas night out is probably off the table this year, Hope House Children’s Hospices will be bringing the big night out, in this December.
Keith Lemon and Richard Blackwood at Blists Hill - Image ITV

Keith Lemon and Richard Blackwood get into the swing of things at Blists Hill

Blists Hill Victorian Town has been visited by television celebrities Keith Lemon and Richard Blackwood to film ITV show Shopping with Keith Lemon.
Karen Lee of The Walnut

Wellington’s Walnut restaurant is on the move

An award-winning Wellington restaurant has announced exciting plans to move premises and diversify its offer.
quuens fish and chips frontage

New fish and chip shop opens in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury has a sparkling new takeaway - Queens Fish & Chips is now open serving a delicious range of hot food.
The Vegan Hub Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury Vegan Hub goes online

Despite the latest lockdown one of Shrewsbury's newest Vegan outlets is continuing to trade with orders now being taken online.
- Advertisment -

Advertisement Feature

Weather

Shropshire
overcast clouds
5.5 ° C
6.1 °
4.4 °
81 %
3.6kmh
100 %
Tue
6 °
Wed
8 °
Thu
5 °
Fri
3 °
Sat
3 °
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Latest Articles

- Advertisment -