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Home movies: how a coaching inn became a family house – and tiny cinema

An 18th-century pub in Somerset has been converted into a quirky home – and one of the smallest cinemas in Britain

When David and Juliet Mclay opened the door to their new home, an 18th-century coaching inn in Axbridge, Somerset, in 1997, they got something of a shock. “There were half-empty pints on the bar and fag butts in the ashtrays,” says Juliet. “The pub had been neglected and was a complete wreck. It was daunting.”

Today, when you walk into the front door of what locals still fondly refer to as the Red Lion, a stand-up Chas and Dave-style piano greets you, in homage to the building’s roots, and there are flashes of colour everywhere. The curtains are electric orange and turquoise enamel lamps dangle above the brilliant blue baize of the pool table.

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