Vintage Cinema in Woodhall Spa

Several Charlie Chaplins stared out from a wall, art deco lamps were in abundance and a figure of 1920s screen icon Humphrey Bogart crept into my peripheral vision. I was at the Kinema in the Woods – a quirky vintage cinema nestled in the village of Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.

It was exciting to finally be visiting as I had heard so many rave reviews about the place.

Driving into the car park, the former cricket pavilion building which houses the cinema came into sight. Surrounded by woodland, it is a real hidden gem. It is not really somewhere you can just stumble upon. You need to know where to find it, or at least be looking out for it.

Walking through the entrance was like stepping back to a time when women were ladies and men were gentlemen. Even the ticket booth was reminiscent of a different period.

Familiar faces of screen sirens from the golden era of film covered the deep red walls and nostalgic memorabilia could be seen everywhere. The interiors were colourful and eclectic. Apparently, all of the items featured in the Kinema were collected from Art Deco style cinemas that were shut down long ago.

We grabbed a bucket of Butterkist popcorn and made out way into the cinema to get ready to watch our chosen film, Jane Eyre. Music from the 1920s was playing as we waited for the ruffled red curtain to rise.

The most interesting part of the trip was the interval half way through the film when a musician rose up from beneath the stage on a Compton Organ and entertained the crowds with some rollicking numbers for five minutes or so.

As if this was not random enough for a trip to the cinema, a huge disco ball in the middle of the ceiling began spinning with disco lights dancing to the beat.

This quirky cinema has an interesting history. The 19th century cricket pavilion was turned into a cinema in the 1920s. And it still effectively holds onto the look and feel of this period.

Wartime pilots from the famous Dambusters 617 Squadron had its officers’ mess at Woodhall Spa’s Petwood Hotel and serviceman would have visited the Kinema, which was originally known as the Pavilion Cinema, to take time out and watch a film.

It was dubbed by Second World War serviceman as the ‘Flicks in the Sticks’. 

Have you visited any interesting and unique cinemas?




    • November 19, 2012 / 11:36

      It’s a proper hidden gem!