Coming soon ... a cinema near you

Mayor Norma Redfearn with Dan Ellis and Stephen Fairley at the Jam Jar Cinema.
Mayor Norma Redfearn with Dan Ellis and Stephen Fairley at the Jam Jar Cinema.

Film fans are in for a treat when a new community cinema opens in Whitley Bay

Jam Jar Cinema will show a mix of blockbusters and classics as well as locally produced and amateur films.

Building work is almost finished to transform a former office in Park View into a community cinema with 42-seats and film education centre.

The project is the brainchild of local lads Dan Ellis, 24, and Stephen Fairley, 22, who have set their sights on bringing the local community together in front of the silver screen, receiving funding, advice and support from North Tyneside Council and its partners.

Dan, who lives in Whitley Bay, said: “Just as cinemas were in their heyday, the Jam Jar Cinema will offer couples, families and friends a rare opportunity to share ‘together time’ – without spending an absolute fortune.

“As well as watching films, people will be able to pop into the centre for a coffee.

“The venue will also be available for private hire so if you want somewhere a bit different for your party or function, just get in touch.”

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “This is a really fantastic project. Dan and Stephen have the drive, determination, knowledge and personality to get this great idea off the ground and turned into a real community cinema.

“Going along to the Jam Jar Cinema will be a lovely experience and one that will bring the community together.”

The cinema is in need of volunteers. Anyone interested should email

Dan decided to call it Jam Jar Cinema after researching Tyneside’s earliest cinemas and found that many people, especially children, paid for their seats with an empty jam jar which the cinema manager would take back to the shop and claim the penny deposits.

The Jam Jar Cinema is planning to let under 18s or over 60s in for free to see selected screenings if they bring along a jam jar.