Lights, Camera, Action! Dave Johns Opens New Cinema Room at St Oswald’s Hospice
A new cinema room, which will provide patients and their families with hours of precious memories and moments, was officially opened on Wednesday 11th January at St Oswald’s Hospice, by ‘I, Daniel Blake’ star, actor, writer and stand-up comic Dave Johns.
St Oswald’s Hospice provides care and support for babies, children, young people and adults with life-limiting conditions from across the North East. They also provide care and support for patients’ families too. Patients benefit from specialists and expert staff in a home-from-home environment that offers quality time for everyone.
The red carpet was rolled out as their new cinema room was opened by staff and patients from St Oswald’s Hospice – with a special guest appearance from Newcastle-born actor, Dave Johns. Dave is a multi-award winning film and accomplished stage actor and is best known for his breakthrough role, in Ken Loach’s critically acclaimed film ‘I, Daniel Blake’.
Dave Johns – who is from Wallsend, said:
“I’m thrilled and honoured to have opened the cinema room for patients and their families at St Oswald’s Hospice. Film and TV have always been an important part of my life, professionally and personally.
“I love being part of an industry that helps tell stories, inspires people and can help to educate and entertain. Film and TV can help people escape for a while and bring people together too.”
The cinema room, which can easily accommodate wheelchairs and patient beds will provide a real cinematic experience for patients and their families who are cared for at St Oswald’s Hospice. They will be able to enjoy watching their favourite films, TV shows and even sporting events on the latest audio-visual equipment, including a surround sound system, lighting controls, automated blinds and access to Netflix and Disney+.
The creation of the room would not have been possible without the donation of products, installation and consultation which were secured by Together for Cinema, all of which would’ve cost £28,000 if it had been paid for by the charity. Creative Install, a Newcastle-based company also installed the cinema room.
Marisa Woodward, Social Worker at St Oswald’s Hospice, was delighted at the opportunity to create such an amazing place for patients and their families to enjoy together.
“We’d just like to a say huge thank you to all of the suppliers who’ve made this possible. The family room, which holds the cinema screen, is used by all of our team to help bring our patients and their families together. The room has transformed the opportunities that we can bring to our patients and their families.
“In December 2021, prior to the cinema being installed, we were able to get a projector to play Christmas films for our patients and their families. We wanted to do something special after they had been through such a tough time the previous year with the effects of Covid-19 and the lockdown.
“A memory that always sticks with me is of a patient and their family who chose to watch Elf. I remember being at work that day, walking along the corridor, and seeing the family exchanging presents with the film playing in the background.
“I know for the patient that was a really special and irreplaceable moment and that the family now have a memory they will be able to carry forever. So to have the official cinema room, with the lighting, blinds and surround sound will bring more opportunities for our patients and their families in the future.”
Sue Melbourne, who’s Dad Doug, spent six weeks in the Adult Inpatient Unit last summer was invited along to the official cinema opening. Sue spoke about the difference the cinema room would have made to her family.
“The Hospice was just amazing for our family – the staff did everything, from providing keyboards so I could play the piano in Dad’s room, to experiences together in the family room.
“The most memorable experience was my son’s graduation which Dad was able to watch with myself and my sister Anne on a live stream from Nottingham. That just meant the world to my family to be able to do that.
“Even though the cinema screen wasn’t set up as it has been today, I think the cinema room as it is now, is going to be absolutely amazing for memory-making for all sorts of family occasions.”
Ian Morrish, Founder and CEO of Together For Cinema said:
“I think the cinema room will make a huge difference to St Oswald’s Hospice. With hospice care it’s very hard for patients and their families to go to the cinema, so to be able to bring the cinema to their safe space where all their medical needs are available is really important.
“It’s special to give families time of releasing themselves into a movie and helping them to build some memories together. That’s what Together For Cinema is trying to do.”
Dave Johns added:
“I hope the cinema room continues to bring joy and comfort for those who use it for years to come.”