Box Office

01629 337513

About Us

We like to think we’re more than just a cinema. Don’t get us wrong, we love films, but we like what film can do even more. Film can bring people together. Break down barriers. Challenge ideas. Teach us things about our world, our culture, ourselves. So we’re passionate about bringing a varied programme of films to the widest possible audience. And doing so in style.

Our Story

Paul & Esther opened The Northern Light Cinema back in 2013. A year earlier they didn’t know much about cinemas, and they sure didn’t know they were going to build one themselves. It all started, as all the best stories do, in the Royal Oak pub over a few pints…  

“We bought the building for our other business, Curiousa & Curiousa, designing hand blown glass lights, but then realised we didn’t need the ground floor. So what could we do with it? A few pints later and the idea took hold. The morning after, word had already spread around town, and there was so much excitement, we couldn’t get out of it!” Esther explains.

With hours of research, tonnes of support from friends, family and a host of local volunteers (not to mention a few last minute loans), the doors opened on July 4th, 2013. Since then, the cinema has continued to provide much needed employment as well as entertainment to town, with 2019 seeing over 18,000 tickets sold, bringing a treasured boost to the local economy.

Paul expands, “Of course we feel proud of the cinema, but we can’t take all the credit – that needs to be shared with all our fabulous staff, past and present, the volunteers who’ve supported us year after year, and by the town itself, whose own fiercely independent spirit and wonderful northern friendliness we aim to mirror.”

Our Community

We’re fervent believers in the power of communities and get so much out of being a part of Wirksworth life. So when you buy a ticket, you’re part of it too. You’ll be helping support local jobs, providing a showcase for local talent and help make our town an even more vibrant place to live, work or visit. More power to you!

We’ve offered a few Wirksworth highlights on the right hand column, but of course there are a host of other societies, choirs and orchestras. We have our own recently renovated Heritage Centre, our own heritage railway with the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, an amazing array of local bands, film makers, writers, actors, ceramicists, sculptors – hell, we even have our own fire eater!

So if you‘re looking for a sense of what a community can achieve, welcome to Wirksworth.

Welcome to Wirksworth

Below are a few introductions to some of our town’s cultural highlights.

The Wirksworth Festival
A leading rural arts festival that takes over town for two weeks in September showcasing local, national and international talent. Highlights include the Arts & Architecture Trail where the townsfolk open their homes to artists for a weekend to create a unique and inspiring couple of days, which are then topped off by Gig On The Roof – live music in the Marketplace with beer, lots of beer. [read more]

Haarlem Artspace
Championing rural contemporary art from a historic mill, Haarlem Artspace is an amazing and energetic hubbub of creatives with over 40 practicing artists, craftspeople and writers sharing the space. They host exhibitions and artistic residencies, talks and events and are a general inspiration in their passionate determination to ‘do’. [read more]

Wirksworth Twinning Association

Our spirit of community spreads far and wide as we have very strong links with our twinned towns of Die in France and Frankenau in Germany. The cinema hosts monthly films as a means to strengthen these bonds through exploring culture through film and raising money in the process. [read more]


Run by the irrepressible Debi Hedderwick, she works with special schools, mainstream schools and the community with her all-inclusive dance classes having impacted thousands of children and young adults, providing them with invaluable access to the arts. [read more]