Some of the north’s coolest events in recent years have seen some unusual spaces transformed into incredible pop-up cinemas, and it’s all the work of one small events team at The Village Screen.
The Village Screen has taken over everything from a Peak District cave to an Edwardian swimming pool, filling these sometimes-forgotten spaces with light, sound, street food and entertainment.
The business was first created in 2015 by Claire Atkinson and Eamonn Hunt, who already ran the Village Green Events company and saw a gap in the market for experiential cinema events up north.
The very first Village Screen event was up on top of a Q-Park car park in the centre of Sheffield. After that, they screened The Little Mermaid at an outdoor swimming pool in Hathersage.
Pop-up cinemas have appeared everywhere from The Monastery in Gorton, the Park Hill Flats in Sheffield, the Winter Gardens glasshouse, the grounds of stately homes and several woodland areas.
Their time spent at Manchester’s Victoria Baths, over in Chorlton-on-Medlock, has been particularly special though.
Emily Dexter, production manager at The Village Screen, said: “Our first event there was a screening of Jaws in 2016 and since then we have organised over 30 events inside this hidden gem. It was built in 1906 and was known as the ‘most splendid municipal bathing institution in the country’.
“It underwent renovation in 2007 and they have restored lots of its original features; tiled walls, stained glass windows and they even kept the original changing rooms – it’s such a unique and special place to many people.”
She added: “Our most memorable venue has to be the Peak Cavern cave. We’ve done over sixty events there since 2017 and it still blows us away every time we go.
“It’s such an incredible location and being able to experience the beautiful surroundings of Castleton makes the experience that much better. We also love the fact that it’s half way between Sheffield and Manchester, meaning that our audiences from both cities can enjoy the events there.
“Although it’s a stunning place, it is a challenging set up to say the least. It takes around two-to-three days to load all of our cinema equipment, chairs, bar and décor inside the cave, which we do using a small buggy that fits up the very narrow path leading up to the cave. It’s hard work but seeing our customers’ reactions as they enter the cave makes it all worth it!”
As well as the film screenings themselves, the Village Screen has dozens of added details that make it so much more special than a regular trip to the cinema.
The incredible venues help, of course, but they also roll in live bands, street food, themed decor, state-of-the-art lighting set ups and friendly staff to make for a memorable day out.
The small team behind the pop-up cinemas have done everything from hanging hundreds of floating candles to rigging fake bodies from the ceiling to set the right atmosphere for each screening, even recreating the iconic toilet scene from Jurassic Park.
Emily said: “People who haven’t been to our events before might think we are like a standard chain cinema, but really we’re creating experiential and imaginative events that people can enjoy with their friends and family.
“As we’re a local independent business, we love to use local suppliers, staff, vendors, freelancers and entertainment as much as possible. So each time we run an event we’re supporting businesses and people in the local area, which I think our customers really love to see as well.”
She added: “Our ethos has remained the same since 2015. We are still about creating exceptional events in quirky locations, but we’ve grown from two to five members of staff and we work on all kinds of creative events, including weddings and experiential events like Secret Supper Clubs for charity clients.”
Although The Village Screen has built up an impressive schedule of events – they’re about to take over the Peak Cavern again – they’re not stopping here.
Emily said: “We’d love to do more events in an outdoor swimming pool with people lounging on inflatable chairs while in the pool, but we love any quirky location. The quirkier the better.
“We’d like to keep doing our events in the north of England, so if anyone has any venue suggestions, feel free to drop us an email or message on our socials.
“We’re always on the look out for new and exciting places and if we love the venue, then we’ll do everything we can to do a cinema event there.”
Upcoming events with The Village Screen
Thursday 27 October – Scream (1996), doors at 6pm, film at 8pm Friday 28 October – Ghostbusters (1984), doors at 6pm, film at 8pm Saturday 29 October – The Dark Knight, doors at 5.30pm, film at 7.30pm Sunday 30 October – Hocus Pocus, doors at 2.30pm, film at 4pm Sunday 30 October – The Lost Boys doors at 6.45pm, film at 8.45pm Monday 31 October – Poltergeist, doors at 6pm, film at 8pm
Friday 18 November – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, doors at 5.30pm, film at 7.30pm Saturday 19 November – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, doors at 5.30pm, film at 7.30pm Sunday 20 November – The Goonies, doors at 2.20pm, film at 3:50pm Sunday 20 November – The Lost Boys doors at 7.00pm, film at 8.50pm
The Village Screen team can also organise smaller garden party cinemas as well as private parties and weddings, with a treasure trove of hire items.
You can get in touch with them here to find out more.
The best things to do in Greater Manchester this week | 5 – 11 June 2023
Another new month is here, and so is the first taste of what’s set to be a Greater Manchester summer filled with fun.
The sun has been shining bright in the region over the last few weeks, and we’ve got an events calendar thats jam-packed full of festivals, family-friendly activities, Spring fairs, museum exhibitions, immersive experiences, and so much more to get stuck into now June is here.
Once again, we’ve cherry-picked a few of the best bits for another edition of our ‘what’s on‘ guide this week, so here’s our top picks.
Monday 5 June – onwards
A huge circus tent has been installed onto the roof of Depot Mayfield in Manchester, as the world-leading cabaret La Clique is in town.
The trailblazing show is visiting the city for a limited six-week run, featuring the best circus and cabaret acts in the world.
Presented by live entertainment company Underbelly, La Clique is wowing audiences with its genre-defining cabaret show, and for its Manchester stint, performers will include tension strap artist LJ Marles, singer Chastity Belt, aerial contortion artist Miranda Menzies, comedy and stunt performer Sam Goodburn, and more.
A new Jurassic-themed trail has opened in Greater Manchester, and you can go back in time to when “dinosaurs ruled Earth”.
Described as being “an immersive dino experience” where families can walk among huge static dinosaur models, all while learning lots of fun facts and snapping photos along the way, Totally Jurassic has now opened in Walkden town centre, and tickets are available from as little as £5 per person.
It’s the latest pop-up family attraction by Totally Roarsome – which is one of the North West’s best-loved immersive events companies.
Chester Zoo is bringing its ‘after hours’ events back this summer after they proved so popular last year.
Giving visitors the chance to explore the UK’s biggest charity zoo “like never before”, the Into The Night series was launched to massive success in 2022, and offered unlimited access to animal habitats, indoor areas, and restaurants after hours for the first time ever.
And this summer, it’s back for animal lovers who missed out.
With tickets now on sale from as little as £10, Chester Zoo is inviting people to discover the zoo as the sun goes down with thrilling live entertainment, special guest appearances, and delicious food and drink.
Fancy trying out some new bars, and restaurants that have opened in Greater Manchester this month?
Summer is here, al fresco dining is on the cards, and it seems like the suburbs are having a moment again, as Urmston has not one but two exciting new openings to shout about, and Withington has just welcomed Almost Famous into its neighbourhood, as Manchester’s original dirty burger bar takes over the short-lived Libertine site.
Elsewhere, Gordon Ramsay moves into town with his Lucky Cat restaurant moving into the former Jamie’s Italian site at the top of King Street.
We think you’ll agree there’s a lot to look forward to now that June’s here, so if you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite this week, we’ve rounded up some of the best new openings to try.
Mancs now now get up close to rare personal items of Stephen Hawking’s in a new exhibition that’s now opened down at the Science and Industry Museum.
Stephen Hawking at Work explores the remarkable life of a world-renowned scientist, who passed away in 2018 – with significant objects from his office giving an insight into his life as a scientist, science communicator, and as a person who lived with motor neurone disease.
Highlights include a rare copy of his PhD thesis, and a wager he made with his peers about whether things that fall into a black hole are lost forever, while there’s also a ‘time traveller’ party invitation that he sent to his peers after the party had taken place, to prove that time travel to the past is impossible.
RHS Garden Bridgewater is back hosting another one of its ‘Walkies at Bridgewater’ evenings by popular demand this Monday, and it means dogs owners can take a stroll around the picturesque gardens with their canine companions when the Worsley-based park opens up its grounds from 4pm–7pm.
With the sun set to shine, RHS says the special event is the perfect time to explore the horticultural delights of the season with your four-legged friend.
A giant outdoor funfair full of vintage fairground rides and a circus is back at the Trafford Centre.
After several hugely-successful runs in both 2021 and 2022, the UK’s third largest shopping centre’s outdoor space has “sprung to life” once again, and is back with a whole host of thrilling rides, a glittering circus, and lots of delicious treats for the whole family to enjoy.
Spring Escape has popped up outside the Great Hall, and tickets are now available to buy for the wide range of events on offer.
Known for being a worthy celebration of the role that Greater Manchester’s 133 libraries play in wellbeing, culture, creativity and more, Festival of Libraries is back for its third year and is set to host a wide range of activities at internationally-renowned institutions such as Central Library, Chetham’s Library, The Portico Library, John Rylands Library, and so many more.
There’ll be live music, library exchanges, dance and theatre, poetry commissions, a writing trail, family-friendly activities that are all FREE to take part in.
Manchester’s largest street food fair, GRUB, is hosting its second Sour Sesh of the year to kick off summer this week, and it’s giving beer lovers the chance be introduced to a range of sour beers from a wide range of local breweries.
Pastore Brewing & Blending, Kirkstall Brewery, Runaway Brewery, Left Handed Giant Brewing, North Brewing Co, Pomona Island Brewery, and Neon Raptor Brewing Co are just some of the breweries you can expect to taste beers by.
Open Kitchen is hosting its second sustainable Wine Club night, and taking inspiration from a crowd favourite from last year, this one’s called ‘Chip, Dips & Sips’.
The Leftbank cafe / restaurant will serve a number of chef-made crisps and dips, along with other delicious nibbles that are made specifically to pair well with each of the curated wines, and you’ll also get to learn about how the selection of ethical wines are unique from the standard.
Fancy soaking up the atmosphere and watching the Champions League final surrounded by thousands of other football fans?
Well, there’s a massive fan park coming to Manchester that’ll let you do just that.
As Manchester City set their eyes firmly on what would be a historic treble title-winning season, the Sky Blues have a showdown against Inter Milan in the final of European football’s flagship tournament to get past first – and the UK’s leading sporting fanpark brand, 4TheFans, is inviting fans to catch all the action live at a huge Champions League-dedicated indoor and outdoor fan park.
Having taken place at Heaton Park since 2013, when it outgrew its original home in Platt Fields Park, this year’s event will take place on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June, and features an absolutely packed lineup of huge local and global names like indie favourites The 1975, Manchester rapper Aitch, in-demand producer and DJ Fred Again.., and legends The Prodigy, alongside so many more.
The massive party is attended by some 80,000 people each day, and is one of the biggest events in Manchester’s cultural calendar.
You can find out everything you need to know about Parklife 2023 here.
The Beeswing Summer Rosé Festival
Saturday 10 June
The Beeswing is hosting it’s first-ever rosé festival to celebrate National Rosé Day in style.
Taking over Manchester’s picturesque canalside neighbourhood KAMPUS from 12:30-3pm, festivalgoers will get to sip on a complementary little rosé cocktail on arrival, before taking their pick from a selection of 30 different rosé wines and fizz.
With wines from all around the globe to try and buy, it’s the perfect time to stock up for summer with your chosen faves.
A brand-new Coronation Street Experience is opening this weekend, and it’s giving fans access to areas they previously haven’t been able to before.
The Coronation Street Tour is known for giving people the chance to discover the hidden world that lies behind the camera at the external sets at MediaCityUK in Salford, and now, the already award-winning experience is about to get even better as the new exhibition is set to extend the current 90-minute tour and make it even more “immersive” for fans.
You’ll get the opportunity to see Dierdre’s famous glasses up close, take a seat in Roy’s Rolls, or even stand behind the bar at The Rovers.
One of the most popular charity football events in the world is back in Manchester this weekend.
Soccer Aid for UNICEF returns to Old Trafford on Sunday 11 June, with Lionesses’ Euro 2022 winner, and Queen of The Jungle, Jill Scott captaining the England team, and iconic world champion sprinter, Usain Bolt, serving as captain for the World XI FC team.
Jack Wilshere, Joel Corry, Bugzy Malone, Karen Carney, Gary Cahill, Sir Mo Farah, Paddy McGuinness, Vicky McClure, Tom Grennan, Lee Mack, Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes are just some of the other big names lacing up their boots.
Featured Image – Parklife | 4TheFans | The Manc Eats
All the June Manchester restaurant deals, discounts and offers you need in 2023
There are a surprising number of places doing some big 50% off deals in Manchester this month, and we’re so here for it.
From half-price brunches, tapas and burgers to meal deals under a tenner and set menus for less than £30, use these offers to save a pretty penny and support your favourite local restaurants and bars at the same time.
Keep reading to discover the best dining deals in Manchester this June.
50% off food and drink – Manchester June dining deals
The offer: £5 burgers.
T&Cs: Available at all sites until 4 June. Phoenix, Triple Nom, Famous, Juicy Double and Liberty Island burgers are all included.
The Blues Kitchen
The offer: 90 minutes of bottomless buffalo or Korean wings for £12.
T&Cs: Available every Sunday between 12-6pm.
The offer: Free pizza with every drink.
T&Cs: This applies when you follow the bar on Instagram. Available Tuesday to Friday from 4.30-7.30pm.
The offer: £1.50 oysters and various drinks offers including £20 martini carafes.
T&Cs: Available from 4-7pm, first Friday of the month only.
The offer: Two for the price of one on big plates and boxes.
T&Cs: Available every Tuesday. Prebooking and purchase of one small plate are required to get the deal.
The offer: Complimentary bar snacks when you order a drink from the Aperitivo list.
T&Cs: Available Monday to Thursday, 4-6.30pm.
The offer: 50% off.
T&Cs: Applies to Firefly’s new Dawn menu. Available all day throughout June on Wednesdays and Sundays, from 12-5pm Thursdays and Fridays.