Movie fans will often find innovative ways to put their fandom on display, whether it be crafting unique cosplay designs or just spending days in line to buy tickets for a movie. A new report out of the U.K. sheds some light on a 38-year-old father of two, who spent a whopping four and a half years of his life, and 70,000 pounds ($86,345) to create his own retro theater, in tribute to the now-defunct ABC theater chain in the U.K. This 34-seat theater was built entirely from scratch, and simply has to be seen to be believed.
The Daily Mail reports that 38-year-old Anderson "Andy" Jones transformed their back yard in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire UK into a theater that is reminiscent of 1930s theaters, with large red curtains and red seats, with the seats coming from the ABC theater in Stoke that shut down in 2000. The brick building stands 40ft tall, 22ft wide and 20ft high, boasting a 17 foot by 7 foot screen. The theater has its own projection room, retro black and white toilets and a concession stand that offers popcorn, hot dogs, sodas and various other treats.
ABC Cinemas was founded in 1927, and at the company's peak, there were more than 400 theaters across the U.K. The company was hit particularly hard after the advent of multiplexes in the 1980s. When ABC's parent company Cinven bought rival Odeon cinemas in 2000, most of the few remaining ABC Theaters were either shut down, or rebranded as Odeaon theaters. Here's what Anderson Jones had to say about why he spent everything he had to build his own theater.
"I've been a cinema fan since as long as I can remember and since I was at school I've always wanted to build a cinema. I used to say to friends 'I'm going to build a cinema in my garden. They didn't believe me. I've always been collecting things from old cinemas, especially movie posters. In 2010 we moved into a house with a quarter of an acre of land and not long after I won planning permission to build my cinema. I used to be a kitchen fitter so I can do plastering and brick laying and built the cinema myself. All my life savings have gone into it. My wife Jayne loves films and my children, Hannon who is 21 and Ethan who is 16, love the cinema too. I've even got their X-Box rigged up to the big screen!"
Despite pouring his life savings into this theater, Anderson Jones won't be turning his creation into a business. The cinema is intended only for friends, family members and members of the Cinema Theatre Association, which Anderson Jones is a part of. In lieu of an admission fee, he will instead ask those who see movies in his theater to make a donation to charity. Here's what Anderson Jones' wife of 17 years, Jayne, had to say about her husband's theater.
"I'm very proud of him. I love it. He's done a fantastic job and I love spending time down there. Anderson's done all the work. Every weekend, any spare time, he's been down there. I've been the tea maker and patient wife. Any savings from when we've moved house have been poured into this so that he could fulfill his dream. My role is going to be manning the sweet counter and I've got a special outfit for when I hand out the ice creams at half time!"
Anderson Jones revealed that the first movie he plans on showing in his theater will be either Back to the Future or Dirty Dancing, but there is still work to be done. Anderson Jones still needs to get some neon lights and fix his garden before hosting the premiere screening sometime this coming summer. We'll keep you posted on any updates about this innovative theater, but in the meantime, take a look at a few photos from Anderson Jones' cinema.