When the cinema in Stafford closed, in the early 1990s, reopening as a Wetherspoon pub in March 1997, the people of the town understandably thought that they had watched their last film in the building which had first opened its doors to thepaying public on 23 February 1914.
Now, The Picture House is reviving the cinema’s tradition, with a free weekly film night, every Wednesday at the pub and a classic black and white feature on Sunday evenings from 8pm.
Already displaying film memorabilia, black-and-white movie stills, posters, artwork and collages, The Picture House celebrates the building’s past, with images on its walls.
However, customers can now enjoy a variety of films, on a large HD projection screen and have already enjoyed the 1967 classic The Graduate and Danny Boyle’s 2008 Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire.
October signalled a celebration of James Bond films, with a month packed with 007 favourites, including Goldfinger (1964) and Live and Let Die (1973).
Screen icon Audrey Hepburn featured throughout November, while, for December, the pub will be screening a selection of classic Christmas films, including Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart.
Dave Blomley, pub manager at The Picture House, said: “We wanted to celebrate the heritage of the building – and what better way than through the cinema classics?”
The pub now has an original cinema advertising sign, on display in the foyer, with details of the forthcoming films, and shift leader Charlotte Shelley is putting her artistic skills to good use by designing posters for the screenings.