Ebenezer's Craft Beer & Gin hosts artwork display - l-r Tony Winterbottom - Nicholas Warren (1)

Nantwich bar Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin is hosting an art exhibition which pays homage to its past as a cinema, writes Jonathan White.

The building on Castle Street, which dates back to 1857, was originally Ebenezer’s Methodist Chapel.

The chapel closed in 1909, and it was converted into the New Picturedrome cinema in 1912.

It also operated as a Cosy Cinema in 1920, and Cosy Super Cinema, operated by Southan Morris’s S.M. Super Cinemas chain, in the 1930s.

It was taken over by Newcastle-based Essoldo Cinemas chain in August 1954 but closed soon after, and later became a nightclub.

Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin is in what was previously the attic bar with the former projector room now used as their cellar/cold store.

Buster Keaton on the background of a Super Cinema Vaudeville review (1)
Buster Keaton on the background of a Super Cinema Vaudeville review

Now Nantwich artist Tony Winterbottom, 55, has produced artwork which is on display in the venue

The theme of the display is “silent movie” in homage to the movies that would have been shown at Ebenezer’s when it was the Cosy Super Cinema.

Sketchwork on display features some of the biggest movie stars from that era, including Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, James Finlayson and Laurel and Hardy.

Tony produces a range of bespoke black and white graphite sketches, and covers subjects such as pets, portraits, celebrities, architecture, and landscapes.

Tony said: “I’m really excited to showcase some work at Ebenezer’s and extremely grateful Nick has given me the opportunity, it was really interesting researching the building to ensure the ‘silent movie’ concept worked and hopefully they will become a talking point for the customers.”

Nicholas Warren, one of the managers of Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin, said: “We were introduced to Tony and his work through a friend.

“We were captivated by his story and his craft. He definitely has his own style, the detail and likeness are astonishing.

“We love his use of famous faces, characters from literature, music and film.

“He researched the building and its history, and we’re thrilled with the bespoke Buster Keaton piece he’s created for us.

Ebenezer's Craft Beer & Gin - Tony Winterbottom poses next to his artwork display (1)
Tony Winterbottom poses next to his artwork display

“Clearly inspired Tony then came up with idea for a ‘Silent Movie’ project, a display to brighten up our walls.

“We suggested Chaplin, Laurel & Hardy. Tony then produced a Harold Lloyd and Jimmie Finlayson piece to complete the display.

“We want to support Tony and for people to see and understand the therapeutic nature of his work.”

From 21st May, Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin will be open Friday & Saturday (12pm – 11pm) and Sunday (12pm – 10pm)

The indoor upstairs premises will be open from May 21, following further easing of government COVID-19 lockdown rules.

For further information on Tony Winterbottom visit https://www.drinkordraw.co.uk or his social media https://www.facebook.com/drinkordraw , https://www.instagram.com/drinkordraw

For further information on Ebenezer’s Craft Beer & Gin visit https://www.facebook.com/Ebenezers1857/  or email [email protected]

Ebenezer's - front of premises when it was the Cosy Cinema (1)
Ebenezer’s – front of premises when it was the Cosy Cinema

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