Community pub opens cinema in time for tonight’s England game

By Claire Churchard

- Last updated on GMT

Big picture: cinema screenings will bring locals together at the Boot Inn
Big picture: cinema screenings will bring locals together at the Boot Inn

Related tags World Cup 2018 cinema Community pub pub is the hub

The recently restored Boot Inn at Freston, Suffolk, has opened a community cinema and will screen England’s World Cup match against Columbia tonight (Tuesday 3 July).

Supported by Pub is The Hub, the village pub can now offer customers a unique viewing experience in its 15-seat, classic art deco style cinema, housed in an outbuilding next to the pub.

Leaseholder Mike Keen said: “I didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere in the pub with a TV but there is still a place for watching important events – such as World Cup matches – and creating a unique community space that requires audio-visual support for local societies and clubs.”

Interval for drinks

When the pub screens films, there will be a 20-minute interval for customers to get a drink at the bar or have drinks and food delivered.

The future film schedule is currently being drawn up by local film enthusiasts and will aim for four regular showings each week. In keeping with nationwide enthusiasm for the World Cup, the first feature film to be shown will be football classic Escape to Victory​. The cinema will also be available for private screenings, children’s parties, presentations and talks.

The premises, which dates back to the 17th century and has views of the River Orwell, reopened in June after a £300,000 refurbishment. Prior to that, Keen kept the locals informed on the pub’s renewal progress with a blog.

Valuable community asset 

Pub is The Hub's Terry Stock said: “Aside from reopening a valuable community asset in the pub, the added appeal of a community cinema will help both young and old within the village to socialise and also to appeal to the wider community.”

Pub is The Hub​ is a not-for-profit organisation that supports community pubs looking to set up services and activities for the local area. It offers advice and support to communities who want to relocate, reopen or introduce vital services and activities in their local pub, as well as to communities considering the options for acquiring their local pub and the range of responsibilities involved.

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