Legendary film critic Barry Norman opens new cinema at Hoste Arms in Burnham Market

Opening of the new cinema room at the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market by Barry Norman - Brendan Hopkins

Opening of the new cinema room at the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market by Barry Norman - Brendan Hopkins with Barry Norman and Bea Hopkins watching a film in the new room. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Barry Norman revealed his love of Norfolk when he came to the county to open its newest cinema.

Opening of the new cinema room at the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market by Barry Norman - Barry Norman in

Opening of the new cinema room at the Hoste Arms in Burnham Market by Barry Norman - Barry Norman in the new room. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The luxury 20-seater has been built at the Hoste Arms, in Burnham Market, where it will show films to hotel guests and private parties.

Film critic Mr Norman was at the Hoste to perform the official opening and choose the first features - Gregory's Girl, The Third Man and The King's Speech.

Of the opening choice, he said: 'I think it's the best rites of passage movie. Most rites of passage films are about horny teenagers, Gregory's Girl is all about love.'

Mr Norman, founding presenter of the BBC's Film programme in 1972, admitted to a long-standing love affair with Norwich.

The Hoste in Burnham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher.

The Hoste in Burnham Market. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

'Both of my daughters were at the UEA, so when they were up at university, my wife and I used to come up quite often,' he said.

'I'm very fond of Norwich, I probably know Norwich better than anywhere else. We used to come up just before Christmas every year and do a lot of the christmas shopping. We'd finbd a nice restaurant, of which there were quite a lot at the time, and have a decent lunch.' He added he began returning to Norfolk after his oldest daughter Samantha was looking online for a dog-friendly hotel she could bring her pets to, and discovered the Hoste.

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'James Sanders, the manager here, is a great movie buff, so he button-holed me and started talking about films,' he said.

Asked the question he's probably been asked more often than anything else, he replied: 'How do you describe the best film - when you've seen between 12,000 and 15,000 of them, you can't pick one and say that's better than the rest.

Gregory's Girl.

Gregory's Girl. - Credit: Archant

'Generally speaking 70pc of films ranged from OK, watchable to awful, 20pc would be watchable to pretty damn good and 10pc would be pretty damn good to great and it's that last 10pc that keeps me going to the cinema.'

Mr Norman said the Hoste's cinema, built as part of a £300,000 gym and function room complex in the hotel's basement, was 'charming'.

'It's the kind of cinema I'm really familiar with,' he said. 'When I was in the day job I used to watch films in small private cinemas.'

The air-conditioned cinema seats 20 in comfort, with waiter service and state-of-the-art sound system. Three films will be shown daily for guests and visitors to the hotel.

Hoste owner Brendan Hopkins said: 'We are thrilled to introduce the next phase of development at the Hoste and are especially delighted that such an eminent film critic as Barry Norman agreed to open our cinema.'

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