Uckfield’s Picture House the best cinema in the UK

The Picture House by night. Photograph by Jeremy Gearing
The Picture House by night. Photograph by Jeremy Gearing

Sussex officially has the best cinema in the UK after The Picture House, Uckfield, scooped the award for Cinema of the Year (24 screens and under) at The Screen Awards 2018.

The prize was presented by compere and comedian Adam Buxton last week at The Ballroom on the South Bank, London.

Picture House owner Kevin Markwick said he, and his team, were absolutely delighted. He said: “It reflects a number of years of hard work and investment with one aim – to give our customers the best cinema experience and night out.”

Kevin, who has been involved with the cinema since the age of two, said The Picture House was runner-up for the award in 2016 and it was great to finally have success in 2018.

The family-owned independent cinema has always kept up to date with at least one major refurbishment every decade.

The latest in 2015 saw a £500,000 rebuilding of the cinema interiors and floors to improve sound and comfort, and the acquisition of the restaurant opposite to be able to offer customers a meal or drink before or after the film.

Last year saw more investment on a £120,000 website bringing the cinema and restaurant together. The site was launched this September.

Customers can now buy tickets and book a table, or be offered a meal deal all in one easy transaction. No other cinema website has this capability.

Also this year there has been further investment in technology with £70,000 spent on Sony 4K projectors for all three screens.

The projectors improve picture quality with more natural colour reproduction, better brightness and a contrast ratio as well as true 4K images for the highest resolution. Kevin says The Picture House is the only cinema in Sussex to have them in all screens.

The Picture House Restaurant was also refurbished this year to reflect The Picture House identity and install energy efficient appliances.

Kevin said the accolade was great reward and recognition for independent cinemas in the country and for the huge amount of hard work and investment that has gone into The Picture House over the last few years. On December 15 the cinema will be celebrating its 102nd birthday.