Veterans living at a north west care home can now enjoy watching films in their own cinema following a grant made in honour of those who have served the nation.
Broughton House Veteran Care Village’s new cinema room is kitted out with a 52-inch screen and velvet curtains, comfortable easy chairs, blackout blinds, a popcorn machine and soft drinks to capture the true essence of a trip to the movies.
Coun Dr Zahid Chauhan, the Mayor of Oldham, cut the ribbon at a special ceremony to officially open the facility.
The cinema was made possible through a grant of just over £4,000 from the Oldham Mayor’s Appeal Fund during the term of office of Coun Chauhan’s predecessor Coun Elaine Garry, and it has been named The Oldham Empire in recognition.
Coun Garry said: “My late cousin Commander Derek Parkinson served on the HMS Herald hospital ship during the Falklands War, and my term of office coincided with the 40th anniversary of the conflict.
“During my year as Mayor, I visited Broughton House and met residents and staff. I was very impressed by the care provided to the veterans.
“When I heard that there was an empty room which they wanted to turn into a cinema, I thought funding it would be a fitting way to show support for the armed forces and pay tribute to those who have served, as well as creating something tangible which really benefits the residents, who come from all over the north west, including Oldham.”
The Oldham Mayor’s Appeal Fund helps a variety of good causes nominated by each office holder. During Coun Garry’s term of office, a total of £37,000 was raised.
Among the films screened so far at The Oldham Empire are war movies The Longest Day and The Green Berets, Smokey and the Bandit, Top Gun: Maverick, and golden oldies Calamity Jane and Casablanca.
Broughton House resident Peter Belcher, 99, who served in the Parachute Regiment during the second world war, said: “I must say it’s excellent that we have a cinema room – it’s nice to sit in there and get the whole experience within the home.”
Karen Miller, chief executive of Broughton House, which is in Salford, said: “We knew our residents have a love of the big-screen cinema experience, and we were looking to provide this.
“Now, thanks to the generosity and kindness of the Mayor and the public, we have
been able to make this happen far quicker than we could have done without their support.
“When the lights are down and the blinds closed, the room is entirely darkened and gives an amazing experience, with easy chairs, drinks and popcorn. It’s another fantastic addition to our facilities which further enhances the village feel of Broughton House alongside our veterans’ mess, our lovely gardens, and much more.”
Broughton House has recently been redeveloped into a complex with a 64-bed care home and independent living apartments, an array of modern facilities, a museum, gym, hairdressing and barber’s salon, and a restaurant and bar for residents. There is also an Armed Forces Support Hub which provides welfare support and counselling for ex-service people of all ages living in the local community.
Coun Dr Chauhan said at the opening ceremony: “Broughton House is an amazing place and this facility proves that people can deliver little things that make a huge difference to people’s lives. The Mayor’s Appeal Fund provided an excellent opportunity to help bring the cinema idea to fruition.”