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Village Screen, 14 Feb, Abbeydale Picture House

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Other than a bit of handholding and the sharing of snacks, a cinema date can leave little time for interaction and connection. But Sheffield and Manchester's hottest pop-up cinema company, The Village Screen, have found a way to make seeing a film both a social and an immersive experience.

With a range of independent food vendors, live music prior to the screening and a playfully-decorated venue, The Village Screen turns a trip to the flicks into a night out. Always based around a theme, past screenings have included The Goonies inside The Peak Cavern in Castleton, Jaws at Victoria Baths in Manchester, and The Shining at Kenwood Hall Hotel for Halloween.

As it was Valentine's Day, tonight's film was a screening of nineties rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You at Abbeydale Picture House. To make the venue look more in keeping with this theme, huge glowing letters spelling out 'LOVE' greeted us in the entrance and a backdrop of golden streamers, balloons and American flags made us feel as though we'd stepped into this fictional high school prom. Inflatable guitars provided a fun photo opportunity, while candles set a more romantic atmosphere.

Local band Kiziah and The Kings played funky originals and love song covers, providing entertainment as my partner and I queued for tasty wraps from Pinch n Pull. Others opted for hot dogs from Get Wurst, bao buns from Deckards and sweet treats from Madam Crepe. Inside, the bar offered beers, cocktails, prosecco and hot drinks for the chillier cinema goers.

Though I wouldn't consider 10 Things I Hate About You a classic, it was much funnier than I remembered and made for a different date night. I'm intrigued to know what film and venue The Village Screen will pop up at next.

Next article in issue 132

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