Handprints cast in concrete at new Gateshead cinema

The Northern Echo: TOWN STARS: From left, Jess Leighton, Janet Holliday and Amanda Brown immortalise their handprints in concrete TOWN STARS: From left, Jess Leighton, Janet Holliday and Amanda Brown immortalise their handprints in concrete

Community heroes in Gateshead have been given a Hollywood-style thank you.

They'll have their handprints immortalised in concrete - just like the stars on the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame. Then they'll go on permanent show at the new Vue cinema in Gateshead.

Three of them had their hands cast yesterday (Mon) ahead of the opening of the nine-screen, state-of-the-art multiplex cinema in the new Trinity Square development in Gateshead.

Amanda Brown was nominated for a range of volunteer activities, including her work at Edberts House, a community project which works to help disadvantaged children.

Robert Jones was a founding member of Gateshead Storm Community Rugby Club and takes on many roles with the club including chairman, treasurer and head coach.

Jess Leighton, now a Newcastle University medical student, was nominated for youth work that includes being Gateshead Youth Assembly chair, a member of Youth Action North East, volunteer carer and volunteer lifeguard.

A fourth person, carers' rights campaigner Janet Holliday, will be completing her handprints at a later date. She's being recognised for her involvement in helping those with disabilities.

The winners will be walking the red carpet at the VIP gala opening of Vue Gateshead on December 19 when the animated film Walking With Dinosaurs will be screened the day before its nationwide release.

The site has cinematic connections as it's on the location of the iconic car park that featured in North-East gangster movie Get Carter starring Michael Caine. A man was pushed from the top of the car park in one of the film's memorable scenes.

The Vue cinema has nine screens include a VueXtreme auditorium with a giant 15.5m by 8m super screen. The Gateshead site is only the second in the country to have the cinema sound system Dolby Atmos installed.

The nine auditoria vary in size, the biggest seating 378 and the smallest 54. It also features 24 disabled spaces, at both the front and back of the auditoria.

The opening marks the return of the cinema's general manager Jayne Rooney to her home town. "I've been working in Scotland for 15 years and waiting for the opportunity to come back to the North -East," she said.

"It's really great being back in my home town in such a fantastic new cinema."

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