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Little Theatre Cinema

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by Tom Fieldhouse (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son. I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Published February 22nd 2018
Little Theatre- Big Impact
The Little
The entrance to The Little Theatre, with its Art Deco style.

Bath's 'Little Theatre' Cinema is wonderful. Housed in an Art Deco style building and tucked away behind Bath Thermae Spa, it is a hive of cinematic activity right at Bath's beating heart. The quirky two-screen cinema is proudly independent and is one of the only remaining Picture houses to operate the projection equipment, sound and lighting by hand. Such dedication to creating an authentic cinema experience is just one example of how and why The Little is such a lovely place to visit. Here are five reasons to go:

A very unique place, which warmly opens its doors to Bath residents and world travellers alike

Have a comfortable and bespoke cinema experience

Glamorous artwork awaits you as you make your way to the screens. The whole theatre is a glowing tribute to the magic and mystery of film.

There is a very special atmosphere to The Little, and it is palpable when you first enter the foyer. The interior is a deep red, and there is a lovely nostalgia in the vintage ticket booth and many panelled glass doors. Films have been shown in the building since 1935, and visitors can almost feel this history. Famously, the exiled Emperor Haile Selassie watched newsreels showing the invasion of his country at The Little, and its doors have witnessed many more famous visitors over the years. The staff are passionate about film and the experience of going to the cinema, and I have always found them to be very kind, thoughtful and welcoming. In fact, going to see a film here is almost like going to have dinner at a friend's house. There is the same comfort and sense of happy safety there.
It is unique.

Food and beverages
The cavern of wonders that is the food and drinks kiosk. Choose anything from high quality teas and coffees to a craft beer and some savoury snacks, enjoyed right in your cinema seat!

Come Join the club- there's quite a selection

With Kids club at the weekend, Silver Screen showings and 'The Big Scream', there is something for every cinematic pursuasion.

Even a swift glance at the 'Full Listings' section of the cinema website shows what a wealth of experiences are offered. With film screenings specifically for parents and babies (the Big Scream), a Saturday morning Kids Club and even a 'Silver Screen' showing for pensioners, the appeal of the cinema is universal. This is perhaps why The Little has remained open for Eighty-Three years, whilst five other cinemas in the city have had to close their doors. Great thought and care goes into the choice and format of film screenings, and this has had a new burst of inventiveness from current manager Mason Pollock. I was thrilled to hear that there is shortly to be a 'Dog-Friendly screening of Wes Anderson's film 'Isle of Dogs'. Long may this creativity continue! Follow this link to find out about the wide selection of things on offer.

Have an Independent and memorable experience

Manager Mason Pollock setting off a new screening and operating the lighting and sound. The theatre has a thoughtful and dedicated touch at every level.

With broadband speed technology and the huge array of devices on offer to folks today, cinema has never been more threatened. Nevertheless, The Little continue to strive for the glamour and joy of going to the cinema to see movies. Go I g to the flicks should be a magical experience, and it really is at The Little, before either screen. Both auditoriums are decorated as traditional 'Movie Theatres' that people over the age of Thirty may remember well. Screen 1, in particular, has a feel of Los Angeles showmanship, with intricate lighting and a balcony area above the main auditorium. It is exhilarating to sit in such a beautiful environment and to talk to staff who actively love film themselves. I truly value this independence and spirit of preserving the wonder of cinema.

Feel a part of something special

Screen 1
Beautiful and elegant screen 1, straight out of La La Land . I love the ornate lights and the comfy velvet seating.

Handmade projector
One of the older, specialist projectors which show the traditional 'reel' films.

As a 'Picturehouse', the heritage of this place is carefully and subtly preserved for all. As the wooden plaque at the rear of screen one and the framed prints on the wall show, this place is proud of its roots and longevity. The website is full of detailed and fascinating information about the cinema, and it makes a trip there even more meaningful when feeling aware of its special past. Take a look here:

I think that younger generations should make a beeline for this special venue, because it is a true balm to the sterile, soulless cinema sunscreens that are increasingly becoming society's cinemas of choice. My five-year-old son puts it perfectly when he asks if we are going to 'the really cool place with the curtains that is like a superhero place'. He is tapping into something important here. It is an exciting place, and one that makes you happy to be in. Everybody should feel like that.

Participate in a Picture Perfect Wedding

Many, many cinema lovers have even got married at the cinema. Are you looking to tie the knot in a magical location? Thanks to its dedicated team of wedding makers, The Little can be transformed into a picture-perfect venue. Weddings here are a regular sight at weekend's, and take place around screening times. The walls and roof of the theatre are decorated with trees and flowers, and I have always felt there is a festive ambience to the place.

Screen 2
The more intimate Screen two, which is upstairs.

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Why? Traditional yet innovative cinema, in a special place.
When: Please consult website
Phone: 0871 902 5735
Where: Bath City Centre
Cost: Tickets available on website, at fair and often very reasonable prices.
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