A historic and much-loved Newcastle cafe is set to re-open for the first time since the lockdowns.

Tyneside Coffee Rooms in Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema, which has been shut since 20 March 2020, will open again on Wednesday 7 September 2022.

Tyneside Cinema Interim Chief Executive, Simon Drysdale, explains: “Tyneside Coffee Rooms is not only an essential part of our cinema, it’s an essential part of Newcastle’s heritage.  

“I know people have missed visiting Tyneside Coffee Rooms and it will be a delight to see the space busy and bustling again.”

Since its opening in 1938, the Coffee Rooms has been a local institution. Tyneside Cinema founder, Dixon Scott, originally planned to let out the space as offices, but couldn’t find a willing tenant, at the relatively high rate of £150 a year.

The Scott family decided to make the space pay for itself, creating the ‘Tyneside Coffee Rooms’. The grand title referred to both the main restaurant and the Smoking Room next door, which is now the Tyneside Cinema Digital Lounge.

Over the years, well-known customers have included Sir Ian McKellen, Charlton Heston, John Hurt, Rowan Atkinson, Bryan Adams, Andrea Riseborough, Derek Jarman, Daniel Day Lewis and many, many more.

In 2000 the entire building was recommended for a Grade II listing by English Heritage. Attention was drawn to this ‘rare example of a fine cinema café’, and the Coffee Rooms was an integral aspect of the building’s recent restoration and redevelopment.

Simon Drysdale added: “Tyneside Coffee Rooms has been here since the 1930s and we felt it was important to preserve its fittings and décor as far as possible. People will see some changes though – we’ve hung new film posters, fitted new carpets and installed new tables, chairs and banquette seating.

“There’s a new digital screen, so we can use the space for all sorts of events, and there’s now also a draft beer pump, so people can enjoy a pint alongside some familiar favourites on the menu.”

Tyneside Coffee Rooms will be open Wednesday to Sunday, from 11am to 6pm, from Wednesday 7 September 2022.

Find out more at www.TynesideCinema.co.uk

Images © Colin Davison, www.rosellastudios.com

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