Screen Wednesday - Staffordshire Film Archive Logon


The archive was founded and developed by Ray Johnson and is housed at Staffordshire University – forming one of the Special Collections. In addition to the original archive films collected, there are many hours of complementary video material generated by Ray to inform and enhance the period films – location filming, interviews, relevant visual materials and complete documentary video productions.

All SFA screenings are free of charge and start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Please note that seats cannot be reserved - arrive early to avoid disappointment.

For more details please visit the SFA website here.

Wednesday 24 October


Mainstay of Music Hall then Variety in the Potteries for over a century, this is the story of this great Frank Matcham theatre - "The Potteries' Own" - built on the site of the Royal Potteries Theatre in 1870. Along the way we celebrate some of the great stars who performed there - in the form of actual archive film footage, tribute acts taking part in the 1998 celebration The Royal Story and cherished memorabilia and reminiscences. Includes a tribute to The Hanley Babes - being re-formed from today's youngster for this year's Mitchell Arts Centre pantomime.

Wednesday 31 October


A review of the last year of the Great War in Archive Films from late 1917 onwards. The impact of the USA joining the war, the disarray and internal mutinies in the French Army, the withdrawal of Russia, ravaged by Revolution (allowing Germany to concentrate on the Western Front) - and then the final battles and German surrender.

Wednesday 7 November


End of War - Beginnings of Rememberance

A new Drama/Documentary by Staffordshire Film Archive in collaboration with the Trentham WWI Group. How a typical local community reflected on the Great War and achieved a fitting Memorial to those who never returned. We hear various families' war stories through an imagined encounter between Archdeacon Malcolm Graham - Ray Johnson - who was Vicar of Trentham, and his great granddaughter - jazz musician Veronica Perrin. Plus archive film of the first Armistice Day. 

Wednesday 14 November


The incredible story of entrepreneur, cinema pioneer and temperance lecturer George Barber - who spent time in the Workhouse as a youngster but rose to become Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent in 1930. We see a selection of his original lecture slides, hear from someone who went to his talks in the 1920s, see films he had made for his local cinemas from 1910 onwards - and how he expanded his cinema empire beyond Staffordshire. There are interviews with his grandson Len (also a former Lord Mayor) and great grandson Brian. Copies of the new publication of his book From Workhouse to Lord Mayor will be available from the Biddulph History Society.

Wednesday 21 November

IT'S IN THE AIR - The Spitfire and Historic Films of Flight

As the City's Spitfire is now actually being restored, a selection of archive films relating to the Spitfire - from Reginald's seaplanes which eventually won the Schneider Trophy in 1931 and held the World Air Speed Record - through to the first flight of the Spitfire and its role in the Battle of Britain. Along the way we will spend a typical day at London Airport (Croydon) in the mid 1930s and review of prominent pre-war aeroplanes caught on film. Also: From Paper to Steel - a film of the creation of the Steel Spitfire based on a paper Spitfire created by artist Suhail Shaikh and which now occupies the Spitfire Gallery in the Potteries Museum.

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600