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The Grosvenor in Glasgow, image via The Grosvenor on Facebook

Top indie cinemas in the North of the UK

27 December 2018 | Rosa Johnston-Flint

Whether you’re seeing a big budget blockbuster or a thought-provoking ‘indie’, going to the cinema is just that bit more special than staying at home. And while it’s easy to spot the big-name chains, there are plenty of independent cinemas, art centres and community hubs that you might not have heard of, which are often more carefully curated, responding to the needs and mood of their local community. We’ve put together a list of the coolest cinemas across the country waiting for you to pay them a visit…

Showroom Workstation, Sheffield
The Showroom Workstation, housed in an old car park, is a thriving and bustling creative hub in the city of Sheffield. The building has undergone quite a transformation in recent years, and is now home to one of the biggest independent cinemas in Europe, as well as meeting spaces, and workspaces for new and up-and-coming businesses. As well as showing recent releases, they also host re-releases and re-mastered older films, and children-friendly and dementia-friendly screenings throughout the week. They also have an excellent café serving hot drinks and food so you can hang out, as well as bar so you can grab a drink before or after your film.
 
To find out more, visit their website.
 
The Grosvenor, Glasgow
The super-cool Grosvenor Cinema in Glasgow is housed in a building from the 1920s in the West End of the city. Their two screens have super comfy leather seating, and their foyer is stacked with a range of classic cinema snacks and their programme has something for everyone, including latest releases, children’s films and foreign releases. The cinema also has a family-friendly café – which won an award for its modern and sleek design - and a more formal restaurant serving delicious botanic cocktails and delectable meals.
 
See here for details of their current schedule.

The Broadway Nottingham
A registered charity, this community-focussed cinema aims to reinvest its revenue into educational and public-facing activities, making this an important space for culture and community building in the Hockley area of Nottingham city centre. The cinema shows a range of new studio and independent releases, as well as re-releases and classics. The Broadway also works in partnership with the BFI, showing films from selected seasons. They host regular Silver Screen showings specifically with older attendees in mind, with additional screenings for those with dementia. This cinema aims to be an open and welcoming space and is a much beloved part of Nottingham’s cultural life.
 
For more information, visit their website
 
The Rex, Elland
The Rex cinema, just outside Huddersfield, is a piece of cinema history: this building is truly a must visit for anyone interested in the unique architecture of picture houses as it one of the oldest examples in England. Dating from 1912, the cinema still has many of its features from the time, including a stage and an organ. Showing a range of old and new films, the cinema has something to offer everyone, as well as always hosting family films on the weekend. The cinema also hosts a cheap Thursday matinee, where everyone pays just £4.50 to see a movie.
 
See here for their current programme.
  
Lighthouse, Wolverhampton
The gorgeous Lighthouse Cinema is based in the Chubbs Building, home to the famous lock and safe company. Now a Grade II Listed building, it contains a pub, restaurant and businesses, as well as the two-screen cinema. As well as showing a range of films – with cheaper prices for students and under 25s – the cinema also hosts a range of other events such as language cafes and knitting nights. Unfortunately, the cinema has recently run into some funding trouble and so is asking for support and donations in order to stay afloat. This innovative and community-focussed space is the only independent cinema in the Black Country so needs support more than ever.
 
For more information, see here
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