A movie-buff family from Co Down are enjoying their own silver screen experience during lockdown after designing a cinema in their basement. Interior designer Jacqueline Hamilton (45), and her quantity surveyor husband Tony (53), have brought their family up to share their love for all things celluloid.
Many days and nights out have been spent at the cinema, enjoying favourite films like Star Wars and Jumanji.
Before lockdown the couple loved heading to their regular cinema haunt, the Omniplex in Downpatrick, accompanied by son Rudi (15), daughter Daisy (13) and niece Dulcie Maguire (12).
Indeed, such was their passion for the pictures that they came up with a plan to make their own cinema at their home at Seaforde last year.
That fell by the wayside, however, until lockdown when the family found their beloved trips to the cinema would no longer be happening.
Finally, with more time on their hands and in a full family effort, mum, dad and the kids rolled up their sleeves to transform their basement into a top-notch movie theatre.
And while there was some more expensive buys for it, much of the authentic cinema vibe came from budget finds - and a touch of creative brilliance.
Jacqueline, who had previously worked in post-production in the film industry and now runs Seaforde Interiors, designed the cinema.
She took her inspiration from London's Soho and the set of Strictly Come Dancing.
"I used to work in post-production in Soho where we did commercials, features and TV shows," she says.
"I was lucky to work on a few big programmes like Michael Palin's Around the World in 80 Days and a video for George Michael.
"I didn't get to meet George Michael but just knowing he was in the room next to us was very exciting as I would have been a big fan.
"We had the most beautiful Art Deco vaudeville theatre for celebrities, actors and directors to view their work. So I always loved it and knew I wanted to create something like that when it came to designing our own cinema at home."
Jacqueline first studied for a BA honours degree in fine art printmaking and then retrained as an interior designer while at home with her children.
She works as both a commercial and residential interior designer all over Northern Ireland and has designed interiors for local bars, restaurants, offices and private homes.
When Covid-19 struck she spent the first week in lockdown struggling to cope with the idea of not working for three months.
However, with so many people forced to spend so much time at home, she was thrilled to find herself unexpectedly in demand with private clients suddenly realising their properties needed a refresh.
"I was working on a hotel in Downpatrick and it was near completion and on a distillery on the Moy when lockdown happened and I had to stop work," she explains.
"I am a very creative person and I like to keep busy so that first week I was quite down wondering what I was going to do with myself.
"A former client rang and asked if I could help his sister do her living room up. We did it over the phone. I was able to suggest colours and ordered furniture online and she was delighted with it.
"My daughter posted a picture of me talking to her and the next thing I was getting loads of messages and ended up having 13 new clients during lockdown - it was amazing. Most of them were spending so much time in the house they realised they needed to freshen it up and one wanted a cinema room like ours to help pass the time and another wanted an outdoor room in their garden.
"That one was fantastic because they had such a large garden and I ended up designing a great space with a kitchen and a corner sofa and a barbeque area. Of course we were getting fantastic weather for them to be able to use and enjoy it."
Despite the unexpected work, Jacqueline found lots of time to focus on her dream of creating a chic movie theatre in her own home.
"Tony and I built our home and we had a basement constructed but it became a storage area," she explains. "It was a team effort to transform it. Tony did the building work and the kids helped. We called them the film crew.
The entire revamp cost around £5,540, but the majority of the spending went on the TV, surround sound system and sofa.
For the rest of the room's features, Jacqueline drew on her experience as a designer, repurposing household items and transforming bargain buys, including Ikea's iconic Billy bookcases at £20 each, to create an elegant finish.
"We drove up to Belfast and got wadding to line the walls and the kids helped out with stapling it onto the walls. When we ran out of wadding, we just used old duvets.
"I got lovely red velvet fabric to cover the wadding and that helped make the room soundproof. We are cocooned watching a movie and a massive thunder storm would pass without us even hearing it."
Jacqueline then relied on her creativity to give the room the old style glamour look she wanted. Using cheap materials and household gifts which she transformed with paint, she also created a bar area inspired by the Strictly Come Dancing judges' table.
"I got gold paint and mixed that with glitter to give the old-style feel of the movie room," she says.
"We made a bar that's inspired by the judges' panel table on Strictly Come Dancing. I was watching the show one night and thought I'd like to make something like that. The Art Deco-style columns were Billy bookcases from Ikea that we painted. I had a mirror bought for me that I hadn't found a place for and so we put that in the bar and it looks great. A relative bought us a popcorn machine for added authenticity.
"From creating my mood board to the finished room was about four weeks and it has really come into its own during lockdown.
"The kids can go in there and watch their Netflix and Disney Plus. We have Sky, Netflix and every other movie and plus-channel going so we can get the newly released movies as they are streamed.
"Before the Covid-19 restrictions the cinema was something we had started and used a bit. When lockdown came and the cinemas closed, the kids were never out of our cinema.
"Because I was lucky to keep busy with my interior design business, it was so lovely to join them all there at the end of a busy day."
Jacqueline's elderly parents, who have been shielding during lockdown, have also found the cinema a bit of light relief and have enjoyed nights together watching some of their favourite old movies.
Pictures of the finished production went online and led immediately to a commission to create a cinema room for a new client, albeit with a more modern look.
Working together to create the space has given the family even more reason to enjoy it.
"Now there's so much satisfaction with it," Jacqueline explains. "It's something special we designed and built as a family and now use as a family.
"It's a special place because we all have invested our time, love and effort into it.
"As we spent more hours in there during lockdown, we really put the finishing touches to it. It gives us all a great sense of achievement and has definitely brought us closer as a family during the pandemic."
And while the family can now watch the latest blockbusters in the comfort of their own home cinema, they are still looking forward to the day when restrictions lift to allow their local movie house to reopen.
"We will continue to support our local cinema, Jacqueline adds.
"Our home cinema is great but there's nothing like the real thing - the movie theatre, whether it is modern or old-style is a magical place and I hope we all continue going to the movies and supporting our cinemas for many years to come."
TV surround sound systemfrom LRG, Albertbridge Road, Belfast £2,000
LG TV, from Currys £1,200
Sofa, from Harvey Norman £1,600
Bar self-made from MDF, £30, mahogany bar top £60, wood stain, £5 and paint £5
Four Billy bookcases at £20 each Ikea (Used as columns to store DVDs and CDs) and painted black with an art deco motif
Wadding for wall sound insulation, £300
Red velvet fabric from Mad About Fabrics £200
Two lamps at from B&Q and decorated with gold embroidery from Jacqueline's design kit £20 each
Bar shelves were a gift and were painted with gold and glitter
Zebra patterned rug from Ikea, £20
total £ 5,540