Cinema’s a feelgood hit

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It’s a simple enough idea. Choose a couple of good films, screen them in a community hall and serve up homemade refreshments, all for a nominal admission fee.

But the Sharrow Reels club seems to have found the secret for success, regularly attracting dozens of cinemagoers from around Sheffield and beyond with quality movies in a low-key setting. It’s the perfect alternative to modern, multiscreen cinemas, which do have their place, but can disappoint some film fans with their narrow programmes focused on blockbuster hits and expensive ticket prices. The community cinema is also a good way of bringing local residents together, reviving the bygone days when people could stroll to a neighbourhood venue instead of driving to an out-of-town leisure park. The high streets of Sheffield suburbs were once populated by picture palaces and Odeons, many fondly remembered by older generations. Let’s hope the Sharrow Reels projector continues to roll for a long while yet.

Make case for turbine

Residents in Penistone are gearing up for a fight again as plans are submitted for a 79-metre high wind turbine and weather mast. Members of the Protect Sheephouse Heights campaign group certainly haven’t forgotten the furore of four years ago, when a row broke out over proposals for five windmills between Stocksbridge and Penistone, which were eventually refused permission. Now locals fear the solo turbine could represent a ‘Trojan horse’, and that once the case has been made for one windmill, the floodgates will be opened. Of course, these concerns are justified. Turbines loom large on the landscape and more evidence is needed to prove they are an effective means of generating meaningful amounts of energy. But the applicant also needs to justify why the turbine is needed and how the situation is different four years on, as the arguments for and against wind energy in the area were no doubt debated at length at the time. We’ll follow the developments with interest.