Idea proves a big box office hit at Sheffield community cinema

Sharrow Reels community cinema
Sharrow Reels community cinema

It’s a success story with all the elements of a feel-good box office hit.

Sharrow Reels community cinema in Sheffield, launched by a group of film fans for a six-month trial run, is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week.

The movie buffs behind the project were on the edge of their seats to see if the concept would take off – but are now reeling in audience members from far and wide.

And they are to host a special birthday-themed film night this Sunday to mark the anniversary.

Adam Raistrick, one of the six friends who run the cinema in the Crowded House gospel church on Sharrowvale Road, said: “It has been a great year. We’ve got people coming from as far away as Rotherham now because they have heard about us through word of mouth.

“The audience size depends on what film is showing, but we get a steady 40 every time, and the highest number was more than 60.

“We always hoped we would get to a year and we have been blessed with a really faithful audience who turn up and get involved.”

Sharrow Reels aims to bring back the days when residents could stroll to a local cinema.

Each screening includes a good-quality film – past choices have been Argo, Submarine by Sheffield’s Warp Films, and Edward Scissorhands – plus coffee and cake for a low budget £3.

Cinema-goers have even brought their own cake to share and often end the night with a pint in a local pub.

Dad Adam, of Nether Edge, said organisers wanted a down-to-earth independent cinema, rather than an ‘avant-garde’ atmosphere.

The 27-year-old added: “When we started this it was because we all love films but we’re not going to see as many as we want because it is so expensive at the cinema.

“It always has been £3 at Sharrow Reels and it always will be.

“The three main things we wanted were great films, great value and a great atmosphere, and we want to stick to that.”

This Sunday’s film screening is multi-award winner Hugo, by Martin Scorcese, and there will be birthday cake, decorations and gifts.

Doors open at 7.30pm and the film is at 8pm.

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Cinema in numbers

6 – friends who run the group.

60 – the biggest audience so far.

£3 – teh cost of a film, coffee and cake.

7.30pm – when door open on Sunday.