How do you fancy a mocha with a movie? Maybe a cappuccino with a sprinkle of comedy or an americano with action on the side?
We could go on but suffice to know that a cosy Sunderland coffee house has come up with the idea of serving customers something a little different.
Holmeside Coffee, set up by members of local band Lilliput, has now launched the non-profit Lamplight Film Club where movie buffs can get together once a month to watch and chat about quality films.
The volunteer-run evening had its debut last month, with customers turning up to kick back, sip a coffee and enjoy a screening of Richard Ayoade’s comedy drama Submarine.
The independent coffee house, which sells locally-roasted Ouseburn Coffee, was founded by Lilliput’s James Gillig, 24, and 23-year-old Joe Collins with friend Dan Stores in the ground floor of city centre music venue Independent. And it’s fast becoming a creative hub, with guest musicians, free literature and wi-fi on offer plus a choice of vinyl so customers can pick background music.
This latest venture was first talked about in 2010 as the group of friends started to share their film interests with a wider group. Joe, from Ashbrooke, explained: “It started with about 10 of us. We just wanted to get together, watch films and prompt discussion about them.
“We weren’t really expecting other people to come. We hoped they would but weren’t bound by that. As it happened, the club picked up quite a bit of interest. At one point over 30 people were coming each week.
“Since opening the shop, we’ve been hoping to introduce after-hours activities and the film club was the first thing that sprang to mind. Now seems the perfect time to start it up again. We’ve got an ideal space and the experience and means to do it.”
The club will be held at Holmeside Coffee from 6pm on the last Wednesday of every month.
Running it will be 24-year-old Lizzie Nixon but each session will be led by a different participant. Lizzie said: “After the screening, you’ll be able to chat about the film and give opinions. The idea is really just to allow people to get involved in watching and discussing the films that they enjoy.”
She added: “I think it’s quite easy to be put off by the idea of a film club. People often think they’re only for experts but Lamplight is open to everyone. If you have no idea about films but just enjoy watching them, you’ll be made welcome.” And to broaden the coffee house’s appeal even further, there are plans for a writers’ club on the first Wednesday of every month and a book club on the third Wednesday.
James, of Fulwell, said the idea had always been to offer something individual from larger coffee chains.
He said: “We want to create a place where people can come together, not only to enjoy a great coffee but also to share their creative interests.”