Bury’s Pat Church projects his cinema life into words with autobiography

Pat Church has penned his autobiography The Smallest Show On Earth. Picture Mark Westley
Pat Church has penned his autobiography The Smallest Show On Earth. Picture Mark Westley
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The man who saved Abbeygate Cinema is to release his autobiography.

Pat Church was in hospital when he spotted an advertisement by a London publisher looking for manuscripts.

After a lifetime of jotting down notes and diary entries, Pat Church, who turns 70 in March, sent them a couple of chapters.

No sooner had publishers Austin Macauley received them, along with a summary of his life working in the cinema since the 60s, than they had commissioned his autobiography.

“No–one was more surprised than me,” said Pat. “I’ve always written things down but to me it was just a collection of ramblings.

“They asked if I would compile them all around 18 months again and since then, it’s a been a labour of love. I’ve worked on it when I got chance like a new hobby and thankfully, all the memories flowed.”

The 362 page autobiography, called The Smallest Show On Earth, will officially be released on January 31.

It documents Pat’s life working in the cinema, where he spent most of his career as a projectionist and where he is now live events manager.

It also tells the story of how he not only saved Abbeygate Cinema but went on to manage the venue, where he has worked for the last 50 years.

“Anyone who has seen snippets keeps asking to read more so hopefully it’s a page–turner,” added Pat.

Pat will be a signing copies and giving extract readings at a launch event on February 20 at Abbeygate Cinema,at 11am, 3pm, and 6.30pm.