One of our most unusual approved wedding venues has achieved reel success in an award scheme to find the UK’s best cinema.

Uckfield Picture House is licensed to carry out marriage and civil partnership ceremonies. It beat off stiff and much bigger opposition to be crowned UK Cinema of the Year at the recent Screen Awards held in London.

It’s a huge accolade for the privately-owned picture house which celebrates its 102nd birthday this month (December 2018) and which was up against cinemas across the country in its bid to win the prestigious title.

top prize

Speaking to Your East Sussex, owner Kevin Markwick, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the award.  This is a great reward and recognition for independent cinemas in this country and for the huge amount of hard work and investment that we have put into the Picture House over the last few years. Our one aim has been making it the best cinema experience and night out for customers.”

The same family has run the Picture House since 1964.  Kevin has grown up there and he took over the running of the cinema in 1994 after the sudden death of his father.  It has always kept up-to-date with changes in the industry and has had at least one major refurbishment every decade.

Movie and a meal

One of its major advances was the acquisition, in 2014, of the restaurant opposite the cinema. A new website bringing the cinema and the restaurant together means customers can buy tickets and book a table or be offered a meal deal all in one go.

Uckfield Picture House is one of more than 100 venues that are officially licensed for weddings and civil partnerships by East Sussex County Council. It became an Approved Marriage Premises earlier this year. To be licensed, a venue must be a permanent structure that is open to the public and non-religious in nature. This includes restaurants, hotels, museums, theatres, stately homes, landmarks, historical buildings and totally unique venues.

Unique venue

Pamela Day is our New Marriage Premises Manager and she is delighted for the Uckfield venue. She said: “This is fantastic news for the Picture House, and very well deserved. It’s currently the only cinema licensed as an Approved Marriage Premises in East Sussex and Kevin and the team there have a very innovative approach.  We’re blessed in East Sussex with some really stunning licensed venues, from register offices to castles, country houses, luxury hotels and outdoor venues. Now we can boast that the UK Cinema of the Year is one of them!”

Licensed venues can host official marriage and civil partnerships as well as other non-statutory ceremonies. These include baby naming, renewing of vows, and civil funerals. For more details of venues and how to book, visit our ceremonies website