Formerly known as The Screen Room, Nottingham’s smallest entertainment venue is set to reopen under new management and a new name. Now titled Screen 22, the single-screen cinema housed in a 15ft auditorium has received a dramatic £30,000 overhaul including a new floor, roof, screen and seats, as well as a ‘state of the art’ digital projection system. The number of potential audience members has also been altered, with an extra chair taking the capacity from a minuscule 21 to a near-multiplex standard 22 (hence the new name). However, lovers of the minimal fear not, Screen 22 still carries its mantle of “World’s smallest cinema”.
After a nine year lease expired in early 2011, the cinema’s previous owners opted not to renew their contract, thus The Screen Room was no more. For many this event was a big disappointment – the building had a rich history of cinema, stemming right back to its time as an X-rated film theatre in the 1960s. Amongst those disappointed was Amy Gathercole, a former Nottingham-based student and film journalist, who upon seeing the empty establishment became determined that it would not “become just another bar”. Fuelled by “sheer nosiness”, Amy and friend/business partner Will Haywood surveyed the site during a viewing day and, a mere five hours later, had drawn up a rough business plan to resurrect the once valued cinema.
Opening its doors to the public for the first time on September 8th, Screen 22 will host a mixture of new releases, private hire screenings and nostalgic trips down the merry road of film, all for the indefinite future.
For Nottingham-based film fans, the opening of another picture house is unquestionably good news. Whether they will be able to successfully compete with the already firmly established Nottingham cinemas remains to be seen, but Screen 22 will pick up where The Screen Room left off by trying to create a unique and niche experience. Impact will bring your our verdict in due course.