A NEW cinema at the National Science and Media Museum in Yorkshire will officially become independent today as a major film festival is launched.
The new operation will be officially named Pictureville and offer three separate cinemas, including an IMAX screen, all under one roof in Bradford.
The annual Widescreen Weekend event sees film aficionados travel from across the world to attend the festival for films which will be screened in both 70mm and 35mm formats.
Among the movies being shown are the Steven Spielberg-directed Ready Player One, musicals including The Sound of Music and West Side Story, as well as the historical epic, Ben-Hur, on the closing night.
Visitors will also be among the first to hear about the new cinema operation’s name Pictureville and its tagline, Where Cinema Lives.
The head of cinema operation, Kathryn Penny, said: “Pictureville, already renowned as a unique theatre capable of screening a huge variety of film formats, is synonymous with the highest quality presentation of films – especially with our Widescreen Weekend delegates as well as our regular audiences.
“We think it is a mark of great cinema in Bradford, and we will be screening films in all three of our cinemas, including the biggest IMAX screen in West Yorkshire, under the Pictureville brand.”
The INDY Cinema Group was recently announced as the programmers for the museum’s operation, which will return to being fully independent when the five-year contract with Picturehouse comes to an end on October 31.
The cinema is located in the old Bradford Library Theatre which was converted in 1992 into a 306-seat venue.
The Cinerama screen and projection system utilises three projectors and a deeply curved screen.
Pictureville is the only public cinema where such films can be screened outside the USA and the IMAX screen itself was the first of its kind to open in Europe.
Ms Penny added: “We’re really looking forward to this opportunity, developing a greater integration between film screenings and the museum programme, as well as making even more people aware of the quality of our cinemas.”
Other highlights of Widescreen Weekend, which runs until Sunday, include guests such as the former head of Merchant Ivory productions and producer of hits such as Howards End,
Donald Rosenfeld, Selfish Giant director Clio Barnard, who grew up in Otley, and a live recording of the popular film review podcast, Girls on Film.
A new Picturerville membership scheme will also be launched and begin to take effect from the start of next month.