We all love a trip to the pictures. From Hugh Jackman's The Greatest Showman to the latest Avengers offering to The Greatest Showman again (face it, we all saw it at least a couple of times), it's been a pound-busting year for popcorn sales. Then again, if one were to have a private cinema at home like a certain £1.4m Lancashire mansion does, that corn may not be popping quite as often...
Cinema in the UK is booming like never before, if by 'never before' you mean 'since 1970'. An eye-popping 177m visits were made to the cinema in Britain in 2018 - numbers not seen since the heady days of 1970 when absolute classics such as Airport and M*A*S*H were doing the rounds on the big screen, prompting almost 200m entertainment-hungry Brits to surge - ticket stubs in hand - down to their local cinema.
Suffice to say, it's a safe bet not many in 1970 had their own personal cinema.
Built across three storeys and containing five bedrooms, a stunning Birkdale mansion, however, boasts just that. Now, let there be no mistake. This isn't a lounge with a big television. It isn't a converted bedroom with black-out blinds and a coffee table. It's a cinema. Bona fide.
We're talking hand-made oak staircase leading downstairs to the secluded sub-ground floor. We're talking bespoke lighting, plush seating, and royal blue decor. We're talking an eight-foot screen with a centralised audio-visual system including the home entertainment hub. Picture what Tony Stark would have if he was a film buff.
But first thing's first. From the outside, the house is about as grand as can be imagined short of being a literal recreation of Jay Gatsby's infamous pad. Ornamental gates give way to a circular-paved drive flanked by mature landscaped gardens. Looming above the gorgeous fountain is a stone balcony. Landscaping, fountains, balconies - these are not features of anything but a home fit for the movies.
Inside, the reception hall already puts the owner in the spotlight. Literally - this house has bespoke spot lights in the hall beyond the front door, with speakers also on hand to add a sparkle of musical accompaniment to one's entrance. And with a galleried staircase leading up to the upper floors also opening up into the room, the visuals aren't half bad either.
Further into the property, the mansion shows that while the movie business may be 24/7, this home is far from all work and no play. A snooker room oozing with debonair swagger - Georgian glazed sash windows will do that to a room - also offers the happy use of a fixture bar for when the taste buds get dry on the way to that elusive 147.
Through to the main lounge, and you will find charming doorways out to the rear garden next to the white marble effect fireplace, while the smaller lounge boasts a marble fireplace and hearth of its own as well as open-plan access to the home's dining room so as to wine and dine anyone coming over for movie night.
An Acanthus fitted kitchen awaits on the ground floor as well, with the granite working surfaces, island unit with five-seater breakfast table, and electric underfloor heating making spending a bit more time cooking up a storm that much more pleasurable. What's not to love about warm feet on a cold winter's morning as you put the kettle on?
Upstairs lies the master bedroom. With its own dressing area, it also boasts an en suite with his-and-her sinks, a recessed TV for when you simply CAN'T miss Match of the Day, a rain forest shower, and limestone flooring and walls. Oh, and more underfloor heating with mood lighting. This bathroom makes me happy just thinking about it.
Continuing the movie screen theme which the house embodies, and the property's York stone-flagged BBQ courtyard features a drop-down TV and a cooking station with Viking gas barbecue. Equally if not more excitingly, there is also a heated indoor pool (with electric retractable cover) with a shower room and a lovely plant room.
Someone should make a film about his place.
For more information, head to https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/48096247?search_identifier=ac913633b1998ea436f88df5b1f93dbc