Screen star opens brand new cinema at Rainbows

It was lights, camera, action at Rainbows as film and TV star Rakhee Thakrar opened a brand new state-of-the art cinema.

Rakhee, who has starred in BBC, Netflix and big screen hits, cut the ribbon as our new facility was premiered.

The Cinema Room, which can freely accommodate wheelchairs, beds and up to eight people, will provide an incredible experience for the children, young people and their families at our hospice.

For many of those families who stay with us, going to a cinema might not be a physical option, or they simply may not feel comfortable making that trip. Their child may have medical, or mobility needs which would make it a very difficult, or even impossible.

This new facility means families will be able to use the room at any time during their visit, while making the space fit their needs – whether that is fun and lively or tranquil and relaxed with the beautiful ceiling of twinkling lights.

Anne-Marie Rosak, Head of Nursing and Clinical Operations at Rainbows, said: “This really will be a fantastic addition to our wonderful facilities.

“For the families who are staying at Rainbows because their child is receiving end of life care, or palliative symptom control care, this Cinema Room will be a place where they can make special memories. It is suitable for beds and wheelchairs, and it will be a place to spend quality time as a family.

“And for many of our young people at the hospice, it is about freedom, being independent and choosing whatever films they wish to watch.”

Bushra Zahid (20) has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and uses Rainbows. She said: “It is really beautiful and feels like a proper cinema. This is really important to us because going to an actual cinema can be difficult for us.”
The room was created by Together for Cinema, an AV industry ‘good cause’ enterprise, soon to be registered charity, whose key focus is on designing and installing home cinema rooms in children’s hospices and other suitable locations across the UK. Together for Cinema acts as a conduit between not-for-profit charitable activities, the consumer electronics and custom integration communities.

Anne-Marie added: “We can’t thank Together for Cinema enough for making this happen at our hospice. Previously we used our conference room as a cinema, but that never felt like a cinema experience. This is much more intimate and we know it will create wonderful memories for hundreds of families.”

Rakhee, who has starred in shows including Sex Education, EastEnders and The Girl Before and will also appear in the 2023 blockbuster Wonka, was delighted to open the new facility.

She said: “I think this is amazing; I can’t believe how special it is. When you walk in, it is totally immersive and definitely has the wow factor. It will be a wonderful place for families to make memories together and that is what Rainbows is all about.”

Ian Morrish, Founder of Together For Cinema added: “This is Together For Cinema’s 32nd cinema room installation and takes us, had all these rooms been paid for, over the £700,000 mark of normal installation value. Each cinema room is as special as the next as they all bring a great deal of joy and escapism to so many children and young adults, their families and of course their support network. We, the AV industry, are delighted to be able to make a little bit of difference by donating what we take for granted to good and deserving causes.”