A BUSINESSMAN is following in his grandfather's footsteps by bringing the silverscreen back to Kirkby Lonsdale.

Stuart Taylor, who owns The Royal Barn and Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery, will continue his family's legacy as he hosts film screenings in his drinking venue - starting on Sunday.

Harry Willan, a printer, newsagent and magician, volunteered as a projectionist in the former Market Street cinema whenever he was on leave during World War Two. The cinema opened in 1937 and its last showing screened in 1958.

“This was something people have been talking about doing for a couple of years but nothing has come of it,” said Mr Taylor. “Now that I have the premises we can make it happen for the benefit of the town.

“We hope to make it a regular thing with a variety of films for children and older people. We had the link in the family so it seemed like a nice thing to do. It is good to keep building up what is on offer in the town.

“People are very interested so far. It is quite exciting. We’re going to make it like a proper cinema with a computer generated curtain over the screen that rises.”

“There will be popcorn and snacks on sale, as well as beer from the Brewery.”

The first showing will be Die Hard, and it will coincide with this weekend’s Christmas weekend.

Mr Taylor’s mother, Janis Stephenson, used to visit the cinema as a young girl with her father who “loved anything to do with show business.”

Ms Stephenson said: “I think it will be a welcome thing to bring back to the town. I have spoken to people older than me and they think it will be a lovely thing to bring it back to Kirkby.

“In the big old building that the Royal Barn have opened it will be a real asset to Kirkby.

“It closed down in 1958 because times were changing. Cinemas were opening in other towns and transport was better so people were going elsewhere. In its day it was very popular. We used to go there a lot. When Stuart told me about his plans I told him that his Granddad would have been so proud. He would have loved to see the cinema back.”