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VIDEO and GALLERY: Sunshine and cinema as film-goers park up at Himley Hall

Families and friends enjoyed an afternoon of sunshine and cinema as the grounds of an historic country hall were transformed into a drive-in cinema.

Himley Hall near Dudley provided a unique setting next to the 17th-century house's lake setting for film-goers to enjoy Frozen 2 and Grease on Saturday afternoon.

Following the same idea as drive-in cinemas in the United States, the Drive-in Cinema was set up by Dudley Council to encourage people to come out and enjoy the idyllic surroundings of Himley Hall.

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Those attending the first screening of Frozen 2 were allocated a place to park their cars and, with restrictions now eased, were able to sit outside and enjoy the sunny weather.

A huge screen was erected near the hall and the audio was streamed on a radio frequency for people to listen through their car stereos.

For the families attending the event, it was a chance to go out and enjoy a beautiful summer day while watching a family-favourite movie.

Helen Thomas had come over from Harborne with her seven-year-old daughter Isla to watch what she said was Isla's favourite film.

The 38-year-old said: "I think it's been really well organised as we've got so much space to sit and enjoy the weather, doing something different.

"I've not sat down with Isla yet to watch Frozen 2, so this was the perfect opportunity to do so and it's been great as we've been and got an ice cream and made ourselves comfortable."

Adele Joyce was one of the first people there with her children Henry and Willow and the 43-year-old from Kingswinford said it was worth wait to see Willow's favourite film.

She said: "I was really impressed with how they've set it up and the weather definitely helps today, as if it was raining, we might not have enjoyed this as much.

"There is definitely something unique about this cinema and it's nice to bring the kids down to this to spend quality time with them and have a chilled out afternoon."

Stephanie Flint travelled from Bearwood with her parents, sister and children and said it was a nice treat for the children.

The 38-year-old said: "From a health and safety standpoint, the council have done everything they can to to get this set up and it looks great.

"It's definitely the first time I've done a drive-in cinema and I think it's a great idea as we wouldn't normally come to Himley Hall, but this helped bring us in."

And for Sonya Hill it was a chance to have a day out with her grandchildren Jacob and George.

The 67-year-old from Kingswinford said: "Everything about this has been absolutely brilliant, with a big and clear screen, friendly staff and just everything being really well organised.

"The two-metre set up between cars helps everyone to stay safe and I really think Dudley Council should look to do more things like this as it's such a good idea."

Dudley Council events manager Anthea Jones said the drive-in had taken a lot of work but that the team were delighted to be able to put on events again.

She said: "Unfortunately, all events for this year have had to be cancelled, so it's just nice to put on something in a safe and friendly environment, out in the fresh air.

"When we saw that the government were allowing drive-in cinemas, we thought this was the most appropriate event to put on.

"It also helps to put it on at Himley Hall, with such a beautiful setting with the hall and the lake in the background."

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