Cinephiles rejoice: one-of-a-kind vintage cinema is back on the road
A vintage mobile cinema which is the only one of its kind left in the world has been snapped up by a film fanatic businessman.
Ben Moorhouse, of Longfield Road, Tring, said the unique vehicle first caught his eye at the Goodwood Revival festival last year.
He said: “I thought, ‘wow, that’s really cool!’ but when I first heard it was for sale, it was a bit of a slow burner.
“I spoke to the previous owner quite a few times and we forged a good relationship, so I think he knew it would be going to a good home.”
Ben bid against museums and other organisations before his offer of £110,000 was accepted.
He said:“I feel like a custodian of a work of art!”
Now the cinema, affectionately named Audrey, has settled into her new home at Historit in Bicester, a pre-WW2 site that specialises in storing vintage vehicles.
And she is no stranger to publicity, appearing on Channel 4 show George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces as well as accompanying Melvyn Bragg on his tour across the UK for BBC2 documentary the Reel History of Britain.
Audrey is one of seven custom vehicles built by the Ministry of Technology in 1967 from a Bedford bus chassis and Plaxton coachwork.
Operated by the Production Engineering Research Association, the fleet travelled the country promoting modern production techniques to British industry.
In 1974, the Government sold them off and Audrey is believed to be the sole survivor after she was rescued from rusting in a field back in 2003.
The vehicle, which can seat 22 and reach a top speed of 48mph, is accompanied by an old trailer which was used as a travelling exhibition space.
Ben is planning to transform it into a mobile cocktail bar at a later date, but at the moment is concentrating on filling the bookings diary.
He hinted that Audrey could appear on BBC’s The One Show in the near future.