Credits roll in for shortlisted Whitley Bay cinema

The Jam Jar Cinema at Whitley Bay.
The Jam Jar Cinema at Whitley Bay.

A cinema in Whitley Bay could be the star of the show after being shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Jam Jar Cinema is closing in on the Cinema of The Year crown at the Screen Awards 2017, having been nominated alongside leading venues from all across the UK.

The venue will hear its fate at the awards presentation in London on November 30.

The Screen Awards were established to recognise excellence at all levels of cinema exhibition and distribution.

Jam Jar Cinema opened in 2013 and shows a wide variety of films, including the best of British, independent and Hollywood releases in its single-screen 50-seat auditorium.

Over the last two years, the venue has flourished and now welcomes more than 30,000 cinema-goers a year.

Dan Ellis, cinema director, said: “We’re thrilled – so much hard work goes on behind the scenes to run the cinema and I’m delighted for all the team. It’s great for the town and the region. We’re the new kids on the block and to go from what was a pipe-dream to running a nationally-recognised venue is a huge achievement.”

The cinema has just reopened after a major renovation to its foyer and lounge bar. It now screens up to 40 films per week.

The venue is firmly rooted as a community cinema and has always reinvested in the cinema experience to bring the best of the big screen without breaking the bank balance.

“We continue to try to push the boundaries of what it means to be a community cinema,” said Dan. “People expect us to have uncomfortable chairs and ropey equipment. They always seemed to be surprised when they see how nice the venue is. Our experience is a million miles away from the faceless multiplex and we do things our way, the Jam Jar way.

“The new foyer experience, bar and toilets really finish the venue off and we are now looking to grow and welcome more patrons in the winter season.”

Last year’s winner was Genesis Cinema, London.