THE managing director of an independent cinema named one of the best in the UK has said she was ‘thrilled’ when she found out.

Zeffirellis in Ambleside beat of stiff competition from cinematic heavy weights to be ranked ninth in Time Out’s ‘The 50 best cinemas in the UK and Ireland’.

The global magazine that covers all the best things in entertainment, arts, food and drink and much more sent out their local experts to find the best cinemas in the UK and Ireland and share what makes them special.

Dorothy Smith

“We’re thrilled to bits about it,” said managing director of Zeffirellis and Fellinis, Dorothy Smith.

“And what we’re thrilled about more than anything is that looking at the independents, there are very few in there.

“You’ve got the Odeon, Leicester Square, some of the big boys are up there.

“And for us to be in the top ten is absolutely brilliant.

“We’re ecstatic and we’ll certainly be trying to live up to expectations that everybody has now.”

As well as five modern screens and comfy seating, Zeffirellis has an award-winning pizzeria offering dinner-and-a-movie deals and is widely acclaimed for its jazz bar that has hosted some of the world’s contemporary greats.

And sister cinema Fellinis also hosts live music, theatre and dance.

Ms Smith said business has been booming since the cinema reopened its doors to customers, although, like many establishments in the Lake District, the venue has been affected by staffing shortages.

“It’s been going really well,” she said.

“It’s been very very busy.

“Business is really good it’s just staff shortages at the minute, like everyone else.

"Unfortunately we're having to restrict numbers because we haven't got the staff to deal with it.

"And that's very frustrating."

Zeffirellis is now gearing up for its jazz festival in August, which will be its first live music event of the year.

"We're not doing live performances at the moment," said Ms Smith.

"The first one we do will be our jazz festival at the end of August, beginning of September, which will be a big thing for us."