WHAT may be the first cinema set up in a tube station is proving to be a hit with weary commuters.
Malcolm Parker, 57, set up a projector and started showing his collection of films of classic steam trains for morning commuters in a disused office on the westbound platform of Snaresbrook London Underground Station when he started working there last summer.
Now the little cinema, which is decorated with classic Art Deco railway posters, has proved so popular that Mr Parker has had to extend its opening hours so those making their way home after a hard day’s work can pop-in and enjoy the show.
Mr Parker, who lives in Shaftesbury Road in Epping, said: “There is a room on the platform that was completely dull so I put some old posters up I decided to put it to some use.
“I don’t know of any other stations with cinemas.
“People very much like it. You have people getting off the train and saying ‘what is that?’ and being quite amazed. People have also come along specially to see it with their kids on the weekend.”
Mr Parker was the train guard on the last Epping-Ongar service before the stretch of line closed in the early 1990s and has rare self-shot footage of the old route as well as even older footage of Great Eastern Line steam trains. “Some of the films of the steam trains have proved especially popular with the older ladies,” said Mr Parker.
“I have always been on the railways all my life, and my family have since the 1840s. My great-grandfather drove the royal train for Edward VII. Now my son and daughter both work on the railways.
“I love the railways, the architecture, the locomotives, I even find satisfaction in well laid tracks.
“It is great to share my passion,” he said.