Old Market Hall
The Old Market Hall, The Square,
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Opening on the 19th January 2003 with an advance screening of "My House in Umbria", but housed in the Old Market Hall of 1596, the OMH cinema is one of the smallest, and is housed in one of the oldest buildings, in the UK.
The OMH was used as a market up to 1867 when a new larger market was constructed; from then until 1995 the premises became a court room when again a move to larger court left the OMH redundant. For the next 7 years the Hall lay empty and, as a Grade I Listed building (the highest category) fell into disrepair and was added to the Buildings At Risk Register.
The former Film Theatre was housed in a part of the town’s Music Hall, but was recognised as being inadequate in almost every department. It did, however, have a loyal following. It was therefore decided to expand the remit into the Film and Digital Media Centre, creating a new luxurious cinema, a cafe, gallery and digital media facilities in the former Market Hall. Work commenced in 1999 and resulted in an exemplary restoration and reuse of a historic building, together with state of the art facilities for local film goers.
The ancient timbers of the stone building are exposed in the first floor cafe; and cinema (full disabled access is provided in a lift). The raked auditorium seats 81 in extra comfortable wide chairs, including 6 pairs of double seats at the rear. Projection is either digital or 35mm, and in June 2008 the cinema will close for a complete upgrading of the equipment to ensure that the screenings remain at first class standards. The cafe is open throughout the day and is a popular (and very pleasant) meeting place in the centre of Shrewsbury.
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