Movie magic on village screens

Hollywood blockbusters are coming to small Norfolk communities thanks to a project launched today. Village Screens aims to deliver the latest films to people who struggle to visit the cinema.

Hollywood blockbusters are coming to small Norfolk communities thanks to a project launched today.

Village Screens aims to deliver the latest films to people who struggle to visit the cinema.

The project is managed by Creative Arts East, an arts development agency that has bought projection equipment to show films in villages across the county.

Film screenings are organised and promoted by 16 voluntary groups, who pay a £100 licence fee to show a film of their choice - from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to low-key independent films. The fee is paid for by sales of tickets to the screenings.

Managing director of Creative Arts East Nicki Stainton said the idea was attractive because it made it easy to get a taste of the silver screen.

"People like going into their community and meeting their neighbours, not having to worry about driving or parking," she said.

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The first screening takes place tonight at 7.30pm in Stalham Town Hall, where the management committee will show Ladies in Lavender.

Projectionist and treasurer Tony Ross-Benham said the project was well suited to the town.

"There are bad bus links between here and Norwich and Great Yarmouth, and if you cannot drive you cannot go the cinema," he said.

The group will be showing a variety of films and will even be selling popcorn to make the experience more authentic.

Mr Ross-Benham said only thing missing would be comfortable seats.

"It is not that far off the real cinema experience, but we say to the audience, 'Bring your own cushion'," he said.

Doors open at 7pm tonight at Stalham Town Hall.

For information on other screenings visit www.villagescreen.co.uk

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