FEATURE19 September 2016

Lights, camera, action

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Features Impact UK

The business model behind the rise of Picturehouse may be unconventional, but Lyn Goleby’s love of cinema has helped the company grow, with ever more inventive ways of tempting people to the movies. By Jane Simms


If you’re fortunate enough to live in a town or city where there’s a Picturehouse, you’ll know that watching a film there is about much more than settling down to see the latest blockbuster, clutching a bucket of tasteless popcorn and nursing an outsize Coke. 

Picturehouse shows the blockbusters, of course, but you’re equally likely to catch arthouse films or live screenings of opera, ballet and theatre. There are showings aimed at older cinemagoers (‘Silver Screen’), parents with babies (‘Big Scream’) and people with autism, and the group sells more wine than popcorn, thanks to its café-bars and restaurants offering freshly cooked – often locally sourced – food. 

But it is the buildings that are perhaps the biggest differentiator between Picturehouse cinemas and their multiplex rivals. Indeed, it is managing director Lyn Goleby’s passion for preserving important buildings and sustaining vibrant city-centre cultures that has driven the expansion of the business since she and the company’s co-founder, Tony Jones, ...