A parish church in east Leeds is set to take on a blockbusting new part-time role as a community cinema.
St Hilda’s Church in Cross Green is planning to screen a film each month to give families in the area the chance to enjoy a day at the pictures without having to fork out for a trip to a multiplex.
The first movie picked is Disney’s Zootopia, which will have two screenings on Saturday, February 25.
Interim parish priest Father Darren Percival launched the initiative following a successful bid for support from Sheffield-based group Cinema For All.
Fr Percival said: “Cross Green and Richmond Hill is a very deprived area, and I know as a parent myself that going to the cinema is an expensive business – it costs us £25 for a family of three, and then there’s food on top.
“It occurred to me that many people in Cross Green may not get the opportunity to go to the cinema because of the price, so the church applied for a start-up grant through Cinema For All, and we were delighted to be successful.” He added: “We’re starting off with a family film but we hope to show a variety of films, once a month, over the year.
“We’ll even be offering hot dogs and popcorn – at a much cheaper rate than commercial cinemas.
“While we have many social problems here, as well as many different cultures, a community cinema is something that brings people together in a safe and warm environment.
“I want to see Saint Hilda’s continue to be the heartbeat of its community, and this is one way where we can bring the church and the community together.”
The screenings of Zootopia on February 25 will take place at 1pm and 4pm.
Admission costs £2.50 for adults and £1 for children. Family tickets for two adults and two children are priced £5.