Beamish Museum has launched a scheme for individuals and businesses to sponsor seats in its 1950s cinema, set to open soon.

The 'Take a Seat' initiative offers an exclusive opportunity to engrave a name or logo on one of the cinema's seats.

County Durham's Beamish Museum recently completed the construction of the cinema, a replica of the Grand from Ryhope, Sunderland, as part of the development of its 1950s Town.

Banks Group became the first company to sponsor a seat in the cinema and in turn will have their logo displayed on the cinema screen after a film or newsreel, part of the business package.

Liz Peart, partnerships officer at Beamish Museum, extended thanks to the company, stating: "We are delighted that the Banks Group is the first business to be taking a seat in our 1950s cinema and would like to thank them for their ongoing and very generous support of the museum and particularly our Remaking Beamish project."

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Banks Group has previously supported Beamish through grants and played a role in some reconstructions throughout the museum.

Community relations manager at the Banks Group, Kate Culverhouse, said: "By bringing history to life through outstanding projects like the 1950s cinema, Beamish is safeguarding and strengthening links to the North East’s unique history and heritage."

Beamish Museum is offering seat sponsorship on a first-come, first-served basis, providing an exclusive opportunity for both individuals and businesses to contribute to the preservation and celebration of British history.

The Grand, a cherished cinema in the 1950s, was in operation from its opening year, 1913, until the 1960s.

Its decline in visitation, paralleling the rise in television popularity, led it to function primarily as a bingo hall before being donated to the museum by Angela and Gary Hepple.

The museum's faithful recreation of the Grand is expected to include news during the day, feature films, and an occasional screening of 1950s classics, alongside a behind-the-scenes look at a projectionist's job.

Individual seat sponsorship is £295, with a package available for businesses priced at £5,000 which includes acknowledgement of the sponsorship on screen. Visit for more information.