Pub joins 40 community cinemas in northern England

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Not-so-quiet days: the Wrygrath Inn adds trade by having cinema nights
Not-so-quiet days: the Wrygrath Inn adds trade by having cinema nights

Related tags Film England

The Wrygrath Inn has joined the ranks of 40 community cinemas in the north of England, supported by Cine North, a subsidiary of the British Film Institute based at the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Ray Thompson, owner of The Wrygrath Inn, in Great Hatfield, East Yorkshire, said regular screenings now help with trade on quiet days. 

The decision to show films began about a year ago when he attended a seminar on community cinemas hosted by Cine North.

“At the time I found it interesting, but I was recovering from an illness, so although I wanted to keep going at the pub I was not trying to increase trade. I put it on a back burner.”

Thompson said that as his health improved he made the decision to pursue it.

He applied for a minor variation to his license in 2016, which was granted earlier this year.

A draw on quiet nights

In March the pub had its first screening of Dad’s Army​, which was filmed 15 miles away, and it was such a success that Thompson said he plans to show a film every second Thursday of the month.

Cine North lends the pub a screen, large projector, sound system, the film itself and the licence to show it.

The pub has also shown Ghostbusters​, with others planned including Bridget Jones’s Baby​ and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie​.

Thompson said: “Each film costs us £120 per showing, and the rule is you can charge admission but if you get more than £200 admission you have to pay 35p per £1 [to Cine North].”

The maximum amount of people would be around 40 to 50 “at a squeeze” and tickets cost £4. There is also the option to have a two-course meal for £13.95 or £9.95 carvery and dessert.

Thompson said: “Thursday is often a quiet night so 40 long stayers is good, especially in winter.”

However, Thompson warned that if a pub considering something similar had an Odeon down the road it “probably would not work”. He said the north of England generally has village hall cinemas in the surrounding areas.

The pub was a finalist in the Best Family category​ in last year's Great British Pubs Awards.

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