The teenager restoring the magic of film reel cinema

Joe is 17 and passionate about film. Specifically, 35mm vintage film reels.

The A level student at Bishop Luffa is taking on a very particular independent project, restoring a cinema in his home village of Slindon at the disused Coronation Hall.

Joe Cornick's Slindon cinema. Photo by Kate Shemilt

Joe Cornick's Slindon cinema. Photo by Kate Shemilt

With a donated projector, hours of hard work and support from the Slindon Coronation Hall committee, Joe Cornick is now well on his way to restoring the building and recreating the magic of communal cinema.

He said: “The best thing is the people I’ve met through the project and how it’s brought a lot of people who I wouldn’t have known were involved in local cinema out of the woodwork.

“There’s people in my village who said ‘I used to work in local cinema’. In Chichester in the 1970s we used to have about five cinemas. There’s a rich cinema history in the area.

“The thing that inspired me to do it was we’re all sat in our rooms on our own watching Netflix and I think that’s a shame – we’ve lost the sense of community that cinema once brought people.

Joe Cornick's Slindon Cinema. Photo by Kate Shemilt

Joe Cornick's Slindon Cinema. Photo by Kate Shemilt

“I sometimes think we should slow down and enjoy a different kind of film.”

The hope is to have the cinema up and running for a film showing in May and although Joe doesn’t know exactly how long the project will continue for, he’s hopeful the new facilities could open up the opportunity for events such as local history nights.

He said: “I want people to come and experience it because seeing films projected in 35mm, it’s totally different to seeing it live in [modern] theatre, it’s a whole different feel and picture that you get.

“A lot of people will understand that but a lot of younger people won’t have seen that and it will be one of the last times that you’ll see that projected.”

Joe Cornick and Mike Imms, chairman of Slindon Coronation Hall committee. Photo by Kate Shemilt.

Joe Cornick and Mike Imms, chairman of Slindon Coronation Hall committee. Photo by Kate Shemilt.

Mike Imms, chairman of the Slindon Coronation Hall committee, supported Joe’s project. He said: “It’s really great, having a project like this in our village hall, which adds significantly to the resources we have here with all this wonderful equipment and to have a really unusual, great evening to add to the programme of events.”

The opening screenings for the cinema are planned for May 10 and 11. Tickets can be booked via the Slindon Cinema Facebook page.