Do you love the cinema but get fed up with the hassle of trying to find a parking place nearby? Or do you prefer to hire DVDs but find that watching movies on your television isn’t quite the same as the big screen? If this sounds like you, then you could take a leaf out of 76-year-old Oadby man Art Zarb’s book and build your own private cinema in your garden shed.
Art, who emigrated with his parents from Malta to England in 1946, has had a life long love of the cinema and became a projectionist when he left school in 1952. He has always wanted his own cinema and finally got the chance some 20 years ago. And his dream was to take shape in a garden shed. Art had a wooden shed built on his property and set about converting the interior into a small, comfortable 1960s style 12-seat cinema. He installed a motorised 10 feet screen that can be adjusted for wide screen movies and television programmes, along with a range of projectors so that he can screen all formats from standard 8mm to 16mm right through to modern DVDs allowing him to watch virtually anything.
“Patrons” are accommodated in a 30 feet long room with a 12 feet high ceiling. It is fitted with three rows of four cinema seats – original, of course – that were re-upholstered by Anne, Art’s wife of 52 years who he met in 1959 when he was working as the resident photographer at a local dance hall and photographed Anne and her then sea-faring boyfriend who was about to go overseas. Anne is less passionate about movies but loves sewing. Not only did she work on the seats but she also produced the padded panels for the walls that soundproof the cinema as well as the drapes and other soft furnishings that give it a warm and inviting ambience. Art’s project cost around £12,000 and has given him the cinema of his own that he has always wanted. With Anne bringing round ice creams during the intermission and a mini-bar in the projection room, he can give his family (three children and four grandchildren) and friends an experience to remember. And Art’s personal favourites? Shirley Temple classics are high on his list. If you have a garden shed, like Art you can create the space you want to fulfil even your wildest dreams. All it takes is a little imagination.
Fancy your own cinema in your garden? Take a look at our log cabins video and see how you can use one as your own den.
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