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Prenton architecture student rewarded for 1950s style drive-in cinema design

Prenton architecture student rewarded for 1950s style drive-in cinema design Banner Image

Beth recognised in annual University awards

An ambitious architecture student from Prenton has won a University award for her innovative drive-in cinema design and has already secured a prestigious placement at a Liverpool firm.

Beth Wellman, a final year architecture student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), was honoured with an industry judged award at her final year University degree show for her impressive 1950s inspired drive-through cinema design complete with an inflatable roof.

The 21-year-old won the architecture category in the annual UCLan Degree Show (DS16) Awards event, which is sponsored by Creative Lancashire and judged by the Owner and Creative Director of BWD Limited Interior Architects Beverley Wood. The awards are held each year at the beginning of the UCLan Degree Shows to recognise the most outstanding work from each discipline of architecture, design, fashion, fine art, media and performance.

Beth, a former Prenton High School and Birkenhead Sixth Form pupil, commented: “I am proud to have been selected by the University staff for this award and want to thank them for their time and support through this project and my whole University experience.”

Beth’s idea for a drive-through cinema came from her love of 1950s style films such as Grease as well as taking a new approach to cinema viewing and turning it into a more social occasion.

I am proud to have been selected by the University staff for this award and want to thank them for their time and support through this project and my whole University experience.

“I like the idea of bringing people together rather than the usual visit to a cinema where people sit in silence” she said. “My design would fit up to 100 cars, including fixed American classic cars for an added experience, as well as a café and bar area.

“The cinema structure itself would be made up of steel brackets attached to engineered timber connected by steel balls. The films could then be projected onto a wall or screen and the roof would be inflatable, similar to the Cross Rail Place roof garden in London. My original design is for Preston but I could also really see this idea working in Birkenhead.”

Beth will take the next step to becoming a fully-qualified architect when she begins a year-long placement with Falconer Chester Hall in Liverpool later in the summer, before then taking a two-year follow-up masters course.

She added: “I really can’t wait to get started and gain some really industry experience. I’ve had a fantastic time at UCLan and particularly enjoyed several trips to various European cities which were very inspiring.” 


University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student Beth Wellman with her award-winning project designs.

Lyndsey Boardman | 28 June 2016