A cinema in the Ribble Valley is hoping that local people who appeared in the film “Whistle Down the Wind” will go along to watch its special Easter screenings.
Filmed right here in the Ribble Valley, The Palace Cinema at Longridge will be screening the film which is now considered to be a British classic and is ranked by The British Film Institute as one of 50 films that you should see before you’re 14.
“Whistle Down The Wind” tells the story of a group of Lancashire children who find a stranger hiding in a barn and decide that he is Jesus.
The children try to keep their secret from the grown-ups and especially from the police, even when posters are put up in the nearby town showing that the man is wanted for murder. More and more children find out about the hidden Jesus, until the news eventually reaches an adult.
Hundreds of local children from Chatburn, Pendle and Downham were involved in the film that was shot in 1961 and those who run The Palace Cinema Longridge are hoping that those who featured in the film will come to watch it this Easter weekend. They are also invited to take part in a friendly discussion after the screenings.
The Palace Cinema Longridge is one of the oldest cinemas in the North West – starting life as a weaving cooperative in the 19th century. It became a cinema in the early 20th century and has seen stints as a bingo hall and roller rink.
It went up for sale in 2017 and many in the town worried that its days were numbered but it was bought by Tony Hewitt, of Parkwood Holdings, and his daughter Lara now runs the cinema.
Since re-opening in May last year the cinema has expanded its programme to include art house films, subtitled screenings and parent and baby screenings. It has also made use of the stage at the cinema and ran its first play at Christmas. The venue now hosts monthly live comedy nights and will soon be welcoming The Ribble Valley Jazz Big Band to the stage as a forerunner to The Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. Other events in the pipeline include Spoken Word Nights, Daytime Discos and Open Mic nights.