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Lottery funding for Cumbria's smallest cinema

Cathouse Cinema Credit: Oxen Park Cinema Club

Cumbria's smallest cinema at a village in Grizedale has been given £8,000 by the National Lottery to go digital.

Oxen Park's Cathouse Cinema shows DVDs on a big screen for people who can't get to Barrow or Ulverston.

Oxen Park is a small village of around 20 houses and is eight miles from the nearest cinema in Ulverston. In 2002 a group of local people started a film club in response to foot and mouth. The outbreak meant many farmers had to stay indoors and people felt something needed to be done to bring the community back together.

"There was a sort of general low feeling of spirit and it was just a really good reason to get people together again and try and sort of lift them and of course that seems a long time ago now but it has made that sort of difference. You know, our people that come to watch a film they're a different group to the ones that go and do upholstery or go to WI. We do pull in people that you know maybe they don't do anything else."

– Carol McNeilL, Oxen Park Cinema Club

Initially they showed DVDs in village halls with a large mobile projector and screen but two years ago the club was able to transform an old pub outbuilding into a cinema with the help of a £50,000 grant.

The National Lottery funding will now pay for improved equipment including editing software and computers for their film-making workshops.

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