From the Trenches to the Silver Screen: How the Little Savoy was Transformed
by Laura Storey
Just behind Trinity Baptist Church in the centre of Colne, a former Nissen hut sat empty for almost a century. Once home to soldiers fighting their way to victory, the hut fell into disrepair and in 2016, the church could no longer keep up with the mounting cost. It was decided that the hut was to be demolished.
“I approached the church and asked, ‘if I can do something with it will you let me use it?’” Andrew Reed, a member of the Trinity Baptist Church, didn’t want to see the building go to waste. Little more than a shed at the time, Andrew saw the potential for a community space, opening up the building for the people of Colne.
Lights, camera, action! Andrew wanted to create a picture house, reminiscent of the Savoy cinema which closed in the 60s to make way for Scott’s Supermarket. Before the closure, Colne’s locals flocked to see the latest releases at the Savoy, creating a day out for the whole family. Since then, a trip to Burnley was required to see the latest blockbusters. However, Andrew was desperate to change that.
“We got a £6,200 refurbishment grant from Asda with the help of Diane, the local community champion for Asda Colne. The list of what we needed was endless and we received the grant in the first three weeks of lockdown so we just cracked on with it, it was a team of four volunteers just gutting the place.”
Within six months, the wooden hut had been transformed into a community picture house, complete with refreshment concession stand. It is reminiscent of 1950s theatres with velvet curtains and even chandeliers hanging above the audience.
The picture house has become a beloved fixture in the community and Andrew and his team are all volunteers. Andrew says, “It was important for me to do this as I’ve been in business for Colne for 32 years so it’s my way of giving back to the community that’s helped me.”
“It is reminiscent of 1950s theatres with velvet curtains and even chandeliers”
Every Saturday at 1pm the hot dogs are smoking, the popcorn is popped and the lights dim, ready to transport Colne locals to another reality. Old classics are a favourite at the picture house, but new talk-of-the-town releases are also shown.
What to do on rainy Saturday mornings is also solved with the Kid’s Club matinee, showing the best in kid’s films, not to mention family movie nights on the first and third Friday of every month. A toddlers retreat is run Monday and Thursday from 9.15am to 11am.
To visit the hidden gem, you must become a member, it’s free, and entities you to enjoy the picture house in all its glamorous splendour. Visit littlesavoy.net for more information or call in and speak to a member of staff.