How Northampton helped me balance university life with my love of the cinema.

Date 18 January 2024

UON alumni Nadine talks about why Northampton was a great location for her to continue one of her hobbies while studying: seeing films at the cinema.

Nadine Shambrook

Before I decided to attend university, one of my favourite pastimes was going to the cinema. I would go four times a month minimum, with friends or alone, to see the latest films, as my love for the movies was growing. It was one of the reasons I studied the University of Northampton’s Film and Screen Studies BA (Hons) degree, because it was an interest of mine I wanted to delve deeper into.

Due to my on-campus accommodation, one of the things I wasn’t taking with me to university was my car, which I thought would affect my travel options – before I went to UON to study, I lived too far from the cinema complexes I would visit with my monthly subscription card to walk, and public transport often limited the times I could go to the cinema. It turned out, not having a car in Northampton didn’t affect my travel options at all.

Northampton’s cinemas

Northampton has two ‘chain’ cinemas: Vue and Cineworld (the latter is who my subscription card was with), plus an independent arthouse venue, Northampton Filmhouse. I had gone from having a chain cinema a 30-minute drive away, to living within walking distance of three cinemas, one of which showed more than just mainstream films or blockbusters.

The University has a strong connection with Northampton Filmhouse, especially my course area of Film Studies. During my degree, we had a few film showings there, where we would watch the film and then have our seminar/discussion in the cinema. The cinema screen is nice too, with big leather seats and a decorative foyer. It felt more fancy than the cinemas I had been used to.

Student cinema discounts

All of the cinemas offered student discounts and I would still go to Cineworld and Vue with friends, taking advantage of these, or the 2-for-1 deal that was available during the week. It was a great way for us to hang out and catch the latest release. The Filmhouse has £5.50 tickets for anyone aged 16 – 25 (as of January 2024), and as my timetable of classes was varied, I was able to still see films at the cinema, fitting them in around my studies and social life whilst living at UON.

Had I dropped the hobbies that I enjoyed while working towards my degree, I think I could have burnt out quickly, which would have had a detertrimental affect on my studies. The study/work/personal time balance is so important to your mental health and I feel grateful that I was able to continue my hobby, whilst I was learning – it definitely contributed to me staying positive during my time as a student.

Nadine Shambrook, staff at the University of Northampton.
Nadine Shambrook

Nadine is a graduate of English and Film and Screen Studies and now works in Marketing at the University of Northampton. She is a member of the Staff Women’s Network.