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Festive fun at the National Science and Media Museum

The National Science and Media Museum’s Pictureville Cinema has something for the whole family to enjoy this festive season.

From Friday 18 December 2020, the cinema will be showing a variety of seasonal films, from cult classics to family favourites. Tickets to visit the museum during the Christmas period and for the cinema programme are available to book online now.

Highlights of the festive cinema programme will include screenings of The Polar Express (2004) in IMAX 3D; It’s a Wonderful Life (1946); Elf (2003); Home Alone (1990); The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992); A Christmas Carol (2020); and both the Bolshoi Ballet and Royal Opera House performances of The Nutcracker.

On Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 December there will be special Kids’ Club screenings of CBeebies Christmas Show Encore! Hansel & Gretel (2019) for £3 per person. Between 18 and 22 December there will also be exclusive screenings of Die Hard (1988) in 4K and 70mm formats.

For visitors looking for a shorter film as part of their visit, there will be screenings of IMAX documentaries in 3D and 2D, including the new Superpower Dogs documentary narrated by actor Chris Evans.

Commenting on the festive cinema programme, Kathryn Penny, Head of Screen Operation, said:

“Christmas is just around the corner and we are excited to be showing a variety of festive favourites at Pictureville this December. From classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, new releases such as A Christmas Carol, and giant festive IMAX screenings, there will be something for all of the family to enjoy. We are also delighted to be reopening our cinemas on 3 December after a month of closure due to the current restrictions, and we encourage people, if they can, to support their local cultural venues this winter.

“Since we first reopened our cinemas back in September, we have introduced a number of safety measures including socially distanced seating, advanced ticket booking, sanitiser stations, and enhanced cleaning of the theatres between screenings. Our top priority is the safety of our visitors and staff, and we want to reassure everyone that we are taking all of the necessary precautions so that their trip to the museum and our cinemas is enjoyable and safe.”

In the museum there will lots of exciting activities during the Christmas school holiday period, including the temporary Wonderlab Live interactive exhibition, where visitors can see live demonstrations from museum Explainers and discover new adventures in the science of light and sound. The permanent Wonderlab gallery will also be open, as well as the exhibition The Forgotten Showman, which explores the story of Robert Paul, the forgotten pioneer of cinematography, who is dubbed the inventor of British cinema. Visitors can also pre-book a slot for the Games Lounge for £2 per person in addition to a free general museum admission ticket.

The museum will be open daily, 10.00–16.00 throughout the school holidays (18 December 2020 – 4 January 2021), except for 24, 25 and 26 December. Pictureville Cinema will be open on 24 December until 17.00.

In line with the current Covid-19 restrictions, the National Science and Media Museum is temporarily closed to the public until Thursday 3 December 2020. The museum will communicate any change to the date when it can reopen.

Although the museums doors are closed for a little while, there is still an exciting variety of resources and activities to explore online until visitors can come and see the museum in person once again. Keep up to date with the latest news from the museum on social media, the museum blog, and through the latest online exhibitions. There are also a host of free learning resources for families and curious adults to explore online, including new resources from this year’s Bradford Science Festival.

The National Science and Media Museum is part of the Science Museum Group of museums. The Group’s collection, including objects relating to film, photography, sound and television housed in Bradford, are also available to explore online for free.

The Science Museum shop is also full of alternative gifts to inspire friends and family of all ages this Christmas. From educational games and toys, to books and even vintage posters, explore the huge range of science-inspired gifts on the shop website.

For more ways to discover our museums online, read these blog posts:


For further information, images or interview requests, please contact: Katie Canning, National Science and Media Museum: / 01274 203 027

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.