A North Yorkshire cinema was taken back to its historic heyday with the arrival of a film crew and a few celebrities.

The Ritz cinema in Thirsk is being used as the local picture house by makers of Channel 5 series All Creatures Great and Small because it has been sympathetically preserved to retain its original features. Since 1995 it has been run by a dedicated group of volunteers.

The production company is saying little about who was appearing in the scenes shot at the cinema this week, although Samuel West, who plays vet Siegfried Farnon, did give the game away a little when he put on social media that he’d been to the cinema.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

The filming is particularly relevant for Thirsk as local author and vet Alf Wight wrote the All Creatures Great and Small stories about the life and times of vet James Herriot. He based the original Darrowby in his books on it. Much of the filming for the recent series is being done in the Yorkshire Dales in Grassington and the surrounding area.

At the Ritz, films being advertised were from the Herriot era, in the dark days of the Second World War. They were Stagecoach, a western made in 1939 with John Wayne in his breakthrough role and Claire Trevor as his romantic interest, and The Shop Around the Corner, a 1940 American romantic comedy starring Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart.

The latest series is due to be broadcast in September.