BRING BACK THE BALCONY
The impact of Covid-19 is still keenly felt in the cinema industry, and so we are here to ask for your help.
After the Roof Restoration was completed in 2020 with generous grants from Trusts and Funders, local businesses and the many donations from our fabulous community, we were able to remove the ugly, stained false ceiling that has hung over our auditorium since the 1970s. When we opened in October 2020, audiences were able to view, for the first time in 50 years, the barrel-vaulted ceiling and full proscenium … and our balcony.
In March 2021 we introduced the Bring Back the Balcony campaign, in the hope that we would be able to celebrate the opening during the centenary year of this building, 2022.
With enthusiastic and generous support from our community; grants from National Lottery Awards for All and the Coles-Medlock Foundation we have raised the majority of the funds needed to begin work.
Where we are now:
- We have engaged Oliver Forsyth of Dittrich, Hudson, Vassetti Architects, who managed the recent roof restoration project, to oversee plans for this renovation.
- Structural Engineers Fenton Holloway and Buildings Inspectors Cook Brown, have revealed previously unseen or unconsidered issues
- Listed Building Consent has been granted
- Tenders are due in on 11th April, so we will very soon know when contractors can begin work
A major safety consideration with the use of platforms on the balcony, as opposed to the gentle rake of the main auditorium, is the need for safety railings – and this necessity impacts on the style of seating, as well as the sightlines.
The balance of heritage values vs modern flair has resulted in plans for a stunning combination of some traditional cinema seating and modern lounge-style seating. The traditional cinema seats will be larger, spaced out with new coverings and padding, but keeping the art-deco seat ends. We have made the decision to upcycle chairs and sofas bought from Clevedon’s Changing Lives and Bristol’s Sofa Project. These will be restored and re-covered to a commercial furniture standard (CRIB5).
Despite our efforts to make savings, costs in some areas have increased greatly, and we are now looking at costs of around £98,000, meaning our fundraising efforts need to continue for a bit longer. You can donate to the Balcony Campaign by clicking donate and make your gift to help save the cinema.
Thank you once again for your most valuable contribution to this project.
If you would prefer to make your donation directly into our bank account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or to discuss your donation call 01275 871000 to speak to CEO, Susannah Shaw.
Artists Impression @timstephens.art