Whitley Bay's Jam Jar Cinema offering £5 tickets to celebrate visitor milestone

The Jam Jar Cinema has now seen over 500,000 visitors buy tickets since it opened
-Credit: (Image: Jam Jar Cinema)

Whitley Bay's independent cinema is slashing ticket prices in celebration of reaching a visitor milestone over the bank holiday weekend.

The Jam Jar Cinema is offering £5 tickets to all film screenings between Friday, May 31 and Thursday, June 13 after hitting half a million visitors since it first opened in 2013. Moviegoers can catch the latest blockbusters like Furiosa or The Fall Guy as well as family favourites such as The Garfield Movie and If, with tickets available to book now on the Jam Jar website.

Originally starting off screening films in pubs and soft plays, the cinema has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Its Park Avenue space is now run by 12 passionate staff members and boasts three cinema screens, which attract 60,000 ticket holders per year, as well as a stylish and cosy lounge bar. The Jam Jar is also set to open a second venue in Blyth next year, as part of the town's new cultural hub.

"It's been a really tricky time for cinemas," explained founder Dan Ellis. "But with considered programming that responds to what our community wants to see, and with up to 60 screenings a week, we've weathered the storm”.

Dan, who was awarded a British Empire medal last year for services to cinema, added: "I am forever thankful for local people, choosing to visit their local independents. It's cinemas, small eateries and high-quality independent retail shops that are the life-blood of our high streets. To achieve 500,000 ticket sales since we opened is a huge achievement."

The Jam Jar name comes from the old tradition born in North Tyneside where locals would get into the cinema for a discounted price on the production of a glass jam jar, and forms the ethos at the heart of the business offering visitors a premium experience at an affordable price. Moviegoers can catch everything from the biggest Hollywood blockbusters to the best of the British independent film scene, as well as live theatre and musical screenings.

"We pride ourselves on showing the best of Hollywood, independent and British films," Dan said. "Of course, last summer Barbie and Oppenheimer were massive hits; but in the last 12 months, six of our top 10 movies were either British or independent.

"We're also so excited to be growing and looking forward to expanding to Blyth next year. I am hugely proud of our success, grateful to our loyal, local audience and to our staff who continually give a warm hug, rather than a corporate handshake."

The Jam Jar is open every day of the week except Mondays. Other major screenings coming up over the next fortnight include Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, Challengers and Back to Black - you can find the full film listings and get tickets here.