Lights, camera, action at Ballyclare’s community cinema

Once will be shown in Ballyclare on February 11.
Once will be shown in Ballyclare on February 11.

Ballyclare’s new not-for-profit community cinema, The Picture House, plans to run its first screening of 2017 in Ballyclare Town Hall on Saturday, February 11.

The Picture House aims to offer great value entertainment, with easy access for people from Newtownabbey and beyond to see a great selection of quality, arthouse and cult classics with occasional Saturday afternoon films for kids.

“We are a group of people who just love movies and see a trip to the cinema as a fantastic social occasion. By holding special screenings once a month, we hope people who enjoy films will come along for a relaxed night out,” explained Robert Robinson, chairman of The Picture House.

The group have planned a screening of the romantic drama “Once” for a Valentine’s treat on February 11 at 8pm. The film won the Sundance Film Festival and the Dublin International Film Festival Audience Awards and is the story of two kindred spirits who find each other on the bustling streets of Dublin.

“It was so hard to choose just one movie for Valentine’s but we thought this one was great. We thought it would appeal not only to couple’s but to groups of friends looking for a fun night out. We’ve now put in place a plan for screenings every month through to the summer and we hope people will come out and support us,” he added.

Tickets £5 (including fees) at Eventrbrite. Advance booking essential for this exclusive event! Film suitable for over 15s only, proof of age may be requested. Tickets can be booked at

The Picture House held its first ever screening back in December with a Frozen Sing Along event which had over 100 attendees with children and parents belting out tunes and with the little ones all dressed up for one of their favourite movies.

Keep an eye out for upcoming events - March will host a classic golden age movie around St Patricks day. April will be the first horror film and June will be a classic family friendly movie for all ages.

May is a special month in Ballyclare, with the annual fair a major event and the group hopes to put on something really special involving the whole community.

Additionally, in May we hope to show films specific to Ballyclare such as Archie Reid films and any short films relating to the May fair in a less formal format so people can drop in at any time during the fair and experience some really specific Ballyclare images.

“The Town Hall is a fabulous, atmospheric venue for movie screenings and we feel this can really turn it into a well-used centre point for people from the area. The main room has been beautifully restored and we are working in partnership with the local council to ensure a collaborative approach to events in the area,” explained Robert.

“The community cinema in Ballyclare is an idea that will help build the twin ideas of community and culture in a town that is currently developing spaces that are open to everyone. The cinema will be completely inclusive and promote the ideas of film as art and discussion about artistic forms in a community setting,” he added.