Take 2 Cinema was originally established in 1965, and is the oldest Student Media group at Lancaster University. Here is a brief overview of the cinema’s timeline.

1965 -1982

The Cinema and the Lancaster University Film Society originally operated as the same entity; providing film screenings for students on campus and providing the opportunity for film fans to meet as a student society. For these early years, Lancaster University Cinema operated as a normal society. A simple 16mm projector was used at this point.


The Cinema was threatened with closure by the Student Union due to their intention to scream the 1982 remark of ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ which was deemed offensive by the Students Union’s Woman’s Officer of the time. Projectionists were threatened with criminal prosecution and in the feud that followed, the Cinema began to operate independent of the Student Union in a bid to avoid further censorship.


Bowland Main Lecture Theatre became the permanent home for the cinema as it received an installation of 35mm projection equipment (which became affectionately known as Sinki after a later Chief Projectionist)– allowing them to order official film reels. This investment was paid by society bank loans. The Cinema became the best equipped cinema in the North West.


The cinema received an installation of Dolby Stereo; the first film played in true stereo sound was ‘Octopussy’. The same year also saw the introduction of a new theatre lighting system. These additions proved extremely popular and loans were paid off ahead of schedule.


The Cinema received an installation of Dolby Surround Sound and the cinema became one of fifteen establishments to have Dolby SR in the UK.

This year also saw the introduction of ‘Barry Norman’ (British Film Critic) as the honorary President. The Cinema did try to make Nick Park the president, who refused due to already being an honorary president of Preston Film and Video Club – ‘Polytech’.


This year saw the cinema’s records computerised for easier filing and safer storage.


The cinema received a further installation of ten new surround speakers. The society is now the largest society on campus with over 2,500 members.


Saturday screenings were added to the original schedule screenings – making a total of five screenings a week.


Following a government white paper report affecting student societies, the cinema was forced to re-join the Student Union – with the promise that they would not be censored. This proved to be a good strategy as the Union now took care of insurance and auditing costs, leaving the cinema more capital expenditure.


Emergency general meeting is held, and 300 voters made the decision to upgrade the cinema again and install Dolby Digital sound (also heard it was installed in 1997 from another article). This installation was paid for by the sale of the cinema’s own refreshments. This made the cinema the best equipped cinema in the country.


During the summer vacation, unbeknown to the Exec; new theatre lighting is installed with the inclusion of windows down the right hand side of the auditorium.

‘QUOTE FROM SCAN 1995 LENT TERM – I would be prepared to go nine rounds with any non-sabbatical who would claim to work harder than the Film Society President….

…The Film Society is still run by unpaid volunteers, who probably work harder than most voluntary workers.’



New reflector mirror was purchased, 400w sub-bass speakers added and replacement parts for the projector.


Ability is granted for the Cinema to sell passes/tickets on the door (originally memberships had to be purchased from the LUSUshop). This means now that the Film Society (consisting of the exec, stewards, projectionists and publicity team) now operate the ‘Lancaster University Cinema’.


The Cinema hosted its very first All-Nighter! The theme was a Halloween all-nighter in Michaelmas term, which is still an annual tradition to this day.


The cinema begins to offer a free Freshers film, beginning with ‘Half Nelson’. This is still another annual tradition to this day.


The projector’s ‘platters’ (which were horizontal), ‘platters’ were disks where the film reel would spin through, broke and the cinema had to replace them with vertical platters.


LUCinema is refurbished with a budget of £100,000. Bowland Main Lecture Theatre was refurbished with new seating, a new screen and was repainted.

The Cinema was upgraded to a 4K digital projection system, the inclusion of a Dolby Cinema Server and 5.1 digital surround sound. The old 35mm projector was removed and the Cinema is now 100% digital.


Projection system receives an upgrade that sees Dolby Digital 3D capability added to the system.


LUCinema is rebranded as ‘Take 2 Cinema’. Loads of changes to be written out later.

SNAP TESTS – today projectionists still have to pass their ‘snap tests’, a term which dates back to tests where projectionists would be required to snap film reels and then piece it back together again in order to pass.

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