About Time Machine

Tyneside Cinema is one of the UK’s leading independent specialised film and media venues.  Alongside its programmes of new world cinema and digital media arts the cinema is also famous as a screen heritage attraction, housed in the last purpose-built Newsreel Theatre still operating as a cinema in the UK. We run an extensive education programme for schools and are passionate about developing young audiences and artists.

Time Machine is an award winning alternate reality game aimed at engaging 9-12 year-old school children with the history of the Tyneside Cinema. It starts as a web-based classroom experience and culminates in an unforgettable visit to the country’s only surviving newsreel theatre.

Time Machine wraps a unique fictional storyline around the real history of the cinema to engage participants in a range of learning activities using online games and real-world activities to explore the heritage of the cinema and links to KS2 curriculum areas including literacy, history, and ICT.

Time Machine has been designed in consultation with teachers and schoolchildren.

Tyneside Cinema commissioned and co-produced Time Machine, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and UKFC’s Digital Film Archive Fund.

The Creative Team

  • Ian Fenton

    Ian Fenton

    Ian Fenton is a writer and director who likes creating stuff to make people happy. He’s been applauded for doing this by BAFTA, the Royal Television Society and his two sons. He dreams of one day of creating a Muppet version of Dawn Of The Dead.

  • Ideonic


    Ideonic are an ideas-driven serious games studio who take the mechanics of play and cutting edge digital technology and create effective new media solutions such as games, applications and platforms for learning and creating social change.

  • Annie Rigby

    Annie Rigby

    Annie is Artistic Director of Unfolding Theatre. She makes theatre with a wild sense of humour, strength of character and a delight in bringing people together. Past productions include the award-winning Building Palaces and David Almond's Noah & the Fludd.

  • Imogen Cloet

    Imogen Cloet

    Imogen is a designer and visual artist based in Newcastle. She has worked with Live Theatre and Northern Stage and has designed productions both nationally and internationally, and is part of the award winning performing arts company, The November Club.


Vox Pops

  • Mark Dobson
    CEO of Tyneside Cinema

  • Holli McGuire
    Project Manager at Tyneside Cinema

  • Ian Fenton
    Writer and Director


  • Thanks for an absolutely fantastic experience. The teachers’ pack was filled with useful ideas, the online activities were dazzling and the experience in the cinema was unforgettable. The children were buzzing before the trip and completely enthralled throughout

    Teacher, Hotspur Primary School

Play a Game

Photo Gallery

View More Photos on Flickr


For more information about the Time Machine project or Tyneside Cinema, please contact us via email or phone

Telephone: 0191 227 5521
Address: Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne. NE1 6QG


The Press Pack is available to download with more information about the project.

Download Press Pack (PDF - 478Kb)

Funded By