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The Village Screen

Asking someone to the pictures may soon be taking a different turn. Gone are the days of plush velvet seats and overpriced popcorn. Now it’s sitting in a deckchair, blanket on your lap, surrounded by street food stalls.

The Village Screen, part of the Village Green Events Company, is Sheffield’s new cinema experience, providing “quirky, friendly and fun” pop-up events around the city. We spoke to founder Claire Hunt to find out more.

Where did you get the idea for The Village Screen?

I lived in London and loved the interesting events, particularly the pop-up cinemas, and wanted to replicate it in Sheffield, so we started last year. We focus on finding an interesting location, and then we try and seek permission to use it. Sometimes we get a ‘yes’ and sometimes we get a ‘no’.

How do you get the word out?

Initially we started with flyers and posters, but now we concentrate on social media and press. We can have a two-way conversation via Facebook and Twitter, and we seem to get a much better response.

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How much planning goes into an event?

It depends on the location. Our first screening, The Full Monty, took months because we needed permission to hold it on the roof of Q-Park Castlegate. We didn’t have security and weren’t allowed to leave the equipment, so my boyfriend and I ended up camping out on the roof. My boyfriend started talking in his sleep and I thought someone was trying to steal everything.

Any memorable moments?

Look North came to talk to us when we were screening The Little Mermaid at Hathersage Pool. Reporter Tom Ingall was in his Speedos. Everyone started singing along during Elf at 92 Burton Road.

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What’s the most challenging event you’ve done?

When we screened The Addams Family and Ghostbusters in Ecclesall Woods there was no light whatsoever, and we’d combined it with a silent disco. We needed security and a lot of lighting, and the weather had been horrible all day. I had to panic order hay bales.

Who comes to your events?

We get a mix of people. We have a lot of female followers on social media, but a great range of people come to the screenings. Our age range is from 18 to 80.

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What’s coming up?

Our mini screen launches soon. We’ll create a cinema experience in your garden, complete with screen, projector, deckchairs, fairy lights and beautiful touches.

Words: Heyla Arbabha
Images courtesy of The Village Screen

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