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There are already several cinemas in Greater Manchester but one newly launched venture is taking a slightly different approach.

The Black Lion, located on Chapel Street in Salford, reopened last week as a combined pub, cafe, live music venue and cinema, reports Greater Manchester news and lifestyle website Manchester Confidential. Films will be shown in a cooperative arts space upstairs. It's the brainchild of three people – Mark Ashmore and Jenny Inchbald, founders of local media company Future Artists, and landlord Barry Phillips.

Initial screenings will be held on rented equipment, but Ms Inchbald said that she hopes the Black Lion will be able to afford its own cinema screen after a couple of months. In addition, she revealed that the project will focus on attracting a different audience to the major Manchester cinemas.

She explained: "We feel as there's a market out there for people who aren't getting the choices they want from the multiplex. You've got the Cornerhouse but they only really show European films. We'll be concentrating on British cinema."

After 130 years in business, the Black Lion was forced to close last summer. However, the plans to reopen its doors have already received a number of high-profile champions. The Save Salford Campaign has lent its support and performance poet John Cooper Clarke recently used the pub to film part of a documentary about his career – and promised to return for some gigs in the future.

The Black Lion is the latest in a long line of venues to try and carve a niche in the crowded Greater Manchester cinemas sector. But with its unique approach and big-name supporters, the organisers hope that it will be around for many years to come.


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