THEATRE supporters in Pendle are going back to the future as they step up efforts to celebrate their centenary year.

Film nights are set to be introduced at Pendle Hippodrome, as promoters of the Colne venue mark its 100th birthday this September.

One of the many incarnations of the New Market Street playhouse was as a cinema and cine-variety theatre, and the idea is to present ‘period films in an Edwardian atmosphere’.

A spokesman said: “The Pendle Hippodrome is presenting occasional film shows on different themes. The first theme is ‘Volunteers and Railways’.” And on Saturday, April 5, this will see an airing for the classic 1953 film ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’, star- ring Stanley Holloway, George Relph, Sid James and Hugh Griffith.

The supporting feature will be ‘Railway With A Heart Of Gold’, a short film about the Tallylyn Railway, just south of Barmouth.

Another film night has been pencilled in for Saturday, June 14, with ‘The Man In The White Suit’, another Ealing Studios comedy, this time featuring Alec Guiness, Joan Greenwood and Cecil Parker. It will be shown, alongside local history films and clips.

The theatre’s friends group has arranged a centenary gala evening on October 4, including a specially-commissioned documentary on the Hippodrome and music from The Swing City Band. An appeal for backstage and ‘front-of-house’ memorabilia has also been issued.

The Hippodrome also served time as a bingo hall in the 1960s before its future was brought into jeopardy by the late 70s.

It reopened thanks to the efforts of three operatic societies in 1986.