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

Full Fibre shares video depicting journey of bringing their fibre network to Shrewsbury

Broadband company Full Fibre has teamed up with a local production company to create a video showing their journey of building a real fibre optic network in Shrewsbury.

Have you future proofed your business?

Preparing your business for the future is as important as focussing on the here and now.
- Advertising -
Advertise with Shropshire Live for £50 per week
Have you seen missing Gavin Anderson from Oswestry?

Concerns grow for missing Oswestry man

Police are appealing for help to locate Gavin Anderson from Oswestry as concern grows for his welfare.
The Mere at Ellesmere. Photo: Shropshire Council

Visitors urged to respect the Shropshire countryside in new campaign

Shropshire Council is calling for visitors to the county’s beautiful countryside to be respectful so it can be protected for everyone to continue to enjoy.
Fireworks Background

Fire service underlines dangers of garden firework displays

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has today underlined the dangers of private firework displays after large-scale public events were cancelled due to coronavirus.
shrewsbury-town-badge-generic

Shrewsbury Town boss confirms that duo are out of favour

Shrewsbury Town boss Sam Ricketts has told BBC Radio Shropshire that Sean Goss and Donald Love are not in his plans.

Match Report: Shrewsbury Town 0 – 1 Bristol Rovers

Shrewsbury Town are left frustrated by a plucky Rovers outfit as they are unable to build on their weekend victory.

Match Preview: Shrewsbury Town V Bristol Rovers

Sam Ricketts will be looking to lead his side to back to back victories as Shrewsbury Town host Bristol Rovers on Tuesday evening.
- Advertising -
Shropshire Business Live TV

First broadcast of Shropshire Business Live TV airs

Shropshire's brand new business tv channel went live today with its first show.
Yasmin Sulaman, Marches Growth Hub Business Support Lead

Marches Growth Hub helps thousands of businesses during lockdown

Thousands of businesses have been given vital help during the coronavirus crisis by the Marches Growth Hub, new figures show.

Diversity call for Telford Business Board applications

A local business board is opening its doors to applications, as part of a proactive drive to best reflect the business community it serves.
Pictured with some of the first sheep, husband and wife Adrienne and Dave Taylor. Adrienne runs the Dabberhashery in Wellington Market and Dave owns Saturday Cycles in the town.

Wellington residents flocking to sheep project

Residents of Wellington are flocking to support a new project which is encouraging them to get creative and visit their local High Street.
Kirsty Smallman, director at J&PR, and Chris Pettman, chairman of FOTTP

Voluntary group for award winning Telford Town Park gardens wins support from new sponsor

A voluntary group working to promote, conserve and protect the award winning Telford Town Park has scooped the support of a new sponsor.
Nature inspired knitted creations are on display for Woollen Woods at Attingham Park. Photo: National Trust/Jayne Gough

Tree-mendous visits to be made at Attingham this autumn

Visitors to Attingham Park, the National Trust property on the outskirts of Shrewsbury are being encouraged to enjoy a Tree-mendous visit and enjoy the great outdoors this autumn.
- Advertising -
RAF Cosford Wellington restore

Open week will let visitors see aircraft conservation work at Cosford

Visitors to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will have the opportunity to look behind the scenes as the doors open to the Conservation Centre this November.
Halloween online Ghost walk Ludlow

Online ghost walk through the streets of Ludlow

This Halloween explore the streets of Ludlow with an online ghost walk featuring Shropshire tales and tunes.
dudmaston hall half term

Half term outdoor adventures at Dudmaston

Families can look forward to a week of outdoors adventures at a National Trust property in Shropshire this October Half term.
Poppy Evans tries out her baking skills ahead of the community bake off

Hunt on for Shropshire’s very own star baker

The hunt is on for Shropshire's very own home star baker as Hope House children’s hospice launches its Eat Cake Week.
Al Sorriso, which is run by husband and wife team Luciana Palmieri and Mark Smith, has emerged from Covid-19 with exciting plans to become a destination dining venue

Albrighton restaurant celebrates first birthday after completing a £30,000 investment

A family-run restaurant in Albrighton is celebrating its first birthday in style after completing a £30,000 investment drive that has created an outside courtyard area, a brand refresh and the launch of an exciting new menu.
Jon and Peggy plant Black Poplar trees in the forest around the roastery in south Shropshire

Shropshire coffee company furthers its green credentials

A Shropshire-based coffee company is making a positive environmental impact not only with its packaging and ‘off-grid’ roastery but also a tree planting scheme.
- Advertisment -

Advertisement Feature

Weather

Shropshire
scattered clouds
6.7 ° C
8 °
5 °
70 %
2.1kmh
40 %
Thu
6 °
Fri
10 °
Sat
14 °
Sun
12 °
Mon
11 °
- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -

Latest Articles

- Advertisment -