Lights, camera, action in Liphook – plans for a new cinema move forward

Last week local gossip was rife in Liphook when a procession of trailers with ‘Movie Makers’ emblazoned on the side, were spotted parked outside The Old Thorns Hotel, a popular country club just outside the pretty town. It was reported that the film crew were filming near Elstead in Surrey and had chosen the Liphook hotel as a base. However, neither The Old Thorns Hotel nor journalists from Hampshire Live could confirm this.

And the film theme continues as from the 17th May, it is expected that our cinemas will be opening their doors again after lockdown closure.

One new exciting cinema project is happening right in the heart of little Liphook. Local town resident, Claire Beswick, founder and director of The Living Room Cinema has been working for four years to bring a boutique independent cinema to the town.

A Liphook resident for 10 years, Claire has been leading the innovative project to convert the ‘Anchor garage’, an ugly former car showroom, into a fabulous film venue. Located just off the town square, the cinema will serve the residents of Liphook and locals from surrounding areas. Locals are in favour of bringing the disused site back to life to provide a new vibrant amenity for the entire local community.

The Living Room Cinema will offer so much more than just a cinema, combining a single auditorium with a relaxed luxurious foyer space, home to an all-day café where friends, family and visitors can meet for coffee during the day and by night transforms into a cocktail and wine bar.

 

Ben Moore, Branch manager at Homes in Liphook said: “Currently, the nearest cinema is a 20 minute drive from Liphook. The Living Room Cinema’s plans to create a boutique provincial cinema and café bar in the small town is a really welcome venture. Not only will it create a fantastic social hub for local residents across all generations, but will appeal to people moving into the area from London and the suburbs; who welcome having such initiatives on their doorstep after living a cosmopolitan city life. It can only be a positive contribution to Liphook’s local economy and will invariably boost house prices even further in this attractive pocket of the county. ”

Claire Beswick said: “At times lockdown has made progress nigh on impossible and, being honest, there were moments where I feared we might never be able to open the doors of the Liphook cinema. But we have raised further funds to mitigate some of the additional challenges we face, and later this year, we will gain legal ownership of the building that will become the cinema. We have the full confidence of our backers who share the belief that post-pandemic, social experiences will be more valued than ever.”