Former railway signal box gets new use as pop-up cinema

A former railway signal box in Stoke-on-Trent will open to the public for the first time in more than 30 years with a charity pop-up mini cinema set to take over.

For one weekend only, the Signal Box doors at Capital&Centric’s Goods Yard neighbourhood will be open to film lovers – with two special screenings alongside music, drinks and free popcorn.

First up on Friday 17 March will be ‘Marvellous’, the true story of local legend Neil Baldwin. The BBC film charts Neil’s life, from starting out as circus clown to becoming the kit man at Stoke City FC, in turn being named ‘the best signing ever made’ by then manager Lou Macari.

The following night sees ‘The Conjuring’ showing.

The venue on Glebe Street was once a signal box operated by Network Rail. It’s sat empty since the 90s, but is now being brought back to life by developers Capital&Centric, in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, as part of the £60m Goods Yard neighbourhood.

Tim Heatley, co-founder at Capital&Centric, said: “The Signal Box doors have been firmly locked for decades. This is a brilliant opportunity to open it back up for the local community. We want people to come down and have a snoop around the building, enjoy some drinks, indulge in loads of popcorn and sit back for the film. A one-off charity gig in a really different and unique space.

“The team is cracking on building out the neighbourhood. In time, the Signal Box will be a café bar, a space where we can have a rotation of cultural events and pop-ups. But we’re pleased that – at this really early stage in the build – we can get people down on site and give them a taste of what’s to come in the future at the Goods Yard.”

All money from ticket sales will go to the Macari Foundation, a local charity helping to support those at risk of homelessness in Stoke-on-Trent.

Tickets are just £7 and available now.

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