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One of the UK's smallest cinemas in Tunbridge Wells garage converted by BBC producer

From the outside, it could be any normal garage - but within these four walls in Tunbridge Wells is something quite unique.

Sixteen seats salvaged from an old Soho theatre stand in the dimly lit room, upholstered in turquoise velvet with chrome ashtrays still fixed into the armrests.

Barry Littlechild converted a garage into 'the UK's smallest cinema'
Barry Littlechild converted a garage into 'the UK's smallest cinema'

A crimson curtain covers the entirety of one wall, an original Dolby projector set in front of another.

Just small sections of paint peep between the collage of old posters, vintage photographs, themed mirrors and collectable clocks, and figurines of famous characters stand proudly on the wooden shelves.

If you haven't guessed yet, this is one of the UK's smallest cinemas.

The creation of BBC radio producer, Barry Littlechild - who fell in love with the world of film at an early age - it is one of Kent's finest hidden gems.

Always dreaming of having his own cinema, Barry began converting the garage as soon as he moved into the Liptraps Lane oast house with his wife, Olga Johnson and son, Wayne Littlechild, more than 20 years ago.

Movie memorabilia adorns the walls
Movie memorabilia adorns the walls
Can you spot the Laurel and Hardy clock? It was one of Barry's favourite films
Can you spot the Laurel and Hardy clock? It was one of Barry's favourite films

After about a year of revamping, decorating and fitting electrics, the cinema was ready for its first screening and became a favourite dwelling for Barry's numerous film clubs, friends and family members.

Sadly, Barry passed away in 2016 aged 69 after suffering with cancer, but Olga and Wayne have carried on his legacy of bringing people together through the magic of movies.

Olga, 73, said: "Barry was such a big personality - full of life and very funny.

"He loved his cinema and there was no question that me and Wayne were going to carry on running it after Barry died."

Wayne, 39, added: "We carry on the cinema in memory of dad. Most of his friends have passed away now but they still came after he passed away.

"We get all different ages coming in and they bring snacks and drinks."

Olga's favourite film is Midnight in Paris while Wayne adores the Fast and Furious series
Olga's favourite film is Midnight in Paris while Wayne adores the Fast and Furious series
Barry as a young producer
Barry as a young producer

The cinema doors open to the local community about once a week, the programme advertised on neighbour networking site, Nextdoor.

Visitors bring along drinks and snacks to contribute to the healthy stack of treats sat upon the shelves in the back room.

With around 2,000 DVDs plus a Netflix subscription, there is a wealth of films to choose from, with frequent guests able to make their own recommendations.

Wayne said: "We play lots of different films - from Hollywood blockbusters to the classic black and white ones."

Olga added: "Wayne's the technical bloke and runs the film screenings and I do the networking - tell people what's showing and all that sort of thing."

You could spend hours looking round the little room
You could spend hours looking round the little room
Barry used to use the original projectors to show films but now Olga and Wayne tend to use the electronic version
Barry used to use the original projectors to show films but now Olga and Wayne tend to use the electronic version

There is no cost but Olga welcomes donations to Nourish Community Foodbank, which she set up six years ago.

The charity helps thousands of struggling families and has around 70 volunteers.

Book clubs sometimes meet in the cinema when films aren't running and West Kent College might be holding some lectures there soon.

If the cinema and foodbank wasn't enough, Olga and Wayne also run a bed and breakfast and Catnap Cattery at their home, which they share with Molly the Collie and three cats.

Having established themselves as pillars of the Tunbridge Wells community, the mother and step-son team were recently crowned winners of Next Door's Good Neighbour Award 2019.

Olga and Wayne's oast house in Tunbridge Wells
Olga and Wayne's oast house in Tunbridge Wells

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