Meet The Blue Walnut cafe bar and cinema and get ready for the Manhattan Shorts!
The Blue Walnut cafe bar in Chelston, Torquay is the place you’ll find one of Europe's smallest cinemas - 23 seats hosting the Manhattan Short Film Festival every year - and where its new owners have shifted gears with award winning deli products, a tasty new menu and a lively programme of intimate, creative events. Step inside with The Shorely!
"I'm originally from Torquay. I joined the army when I was 16 years old as an apprentice chef, and after that period, I said, 'I'd never want to work with food again.' About 5-years-ago, I decided I wanted to come back into food; I opened a little cheese shop in St. Marychurch and did quite well. Last year, we needed somewhere more significant to go, looked around and The Blue Walnut came up. It's a fantastic little venue, all the licenses I wanted, and of course, it's got the cinema too." - Richard Dawson, Owner of The Blue Walnut
"We moved down here this year around January / February time and had two weeks of closure. Once we opened, we wanted to bring back some events. We brought back live music, and few other bits and pieces like the bring your own vinyl night, open mic, spoken word… and we have five different film clubs we run now, and it's going pretty well." - Richard Dawson, Owner of The Blue Walnut
It’s not just the events and entertainment that have changed for the better; Richard and Chris Edwards have vastly improved the food offering too:
"We use as much local products as we can. I'd rather keep the money flowing in the local community. For example, we use the butcher up the road, eggs from a local farm and all our cheese is from the West Country too… A lot of people who visited The Cheese Press in St. Marychurch have followed us here, as well as still supplying a lot of the pubs and hotels like the Cary Arms, Orange Tree, No 7, Devon Dumpling, Yacht Club, Torquay Golf Club, and The Wine Box." - Richard Dawson, Owner of The Blue Walnut
The Blue Walnut is known nationally for its annual involvement in the international Manhattan Short Film Festival. The film festival takes place in 400 cities, spanning 6 continents for one week only. The audiences in the different cities all vote on the Best Film and Best Actor which then automatically qualifies for the oscars. This year, Richard is set to open the cinema up for 5 days of screening. Being one of only two cinema's taking part in the UK, people are travelling from far and wide to take part from the 1 to 5 October 2019.
"It's not all about the food, we're really lucky to have our small cinema. The Manhattan Shorts is in its 22nd year and is for amateur filmmakers, which offers a direct route to the Oscars. At the end of each night the audience get to vote on their favourite films or actors. We're open for 5 nights, and tickets are selling out very, very quickly, so either give us a call or contact us online." - Richard Dawson, Owner of The Blue Walnut
The Manhattan Short is just around the corner from 26 September to 6 October. Tickets are £10 per person; to book your place at this year's film festival visit the Blue Walnut website: http://www.bluewalnuttorquay.co.uk/. For more information about The Blue Walnut's events and to see more pics and reviews, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheBlueWalnutCafe