Curzon

BRING BACK THE BALCONY

One year on, after Covid-19 closed the doors of the Curzon for the first time in its 109-year history, we are asking for your help.

Last year, after the Roof Restoration was completed 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 this year we introduced the Bring Back the Balcony campaign. We hoped that we would be celebrating our refurbished balcony by September…

By the end of September, with enthusiastic and generous support from our community and grants from the National Lottery Awards for All and the Coles-Medlock Foundation we had raised a staggering £62,000, with another £10,000 pledged, once we are ready 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
  • Costs have increased, and the planning required has pushed back our estimated re-opening date.
  • Listed Building Consent has now been applied for from North Somerset Council. Expected response early December.

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. The modern lounge seats will be placed in areas where sightlines allow people to settle down lower in their chairs.

Consideration has been given to a more relaxed, up-market experience, with tables or cup holders being added, coat hooks or pockets for coats and bags and more space around groups of seats to allow for seat service.

Due to the increase in costs for the balcony alone, it has been decided that additional toilets on the top floor, as originally planned, are not essential and can be added at a later date.

We are looking to raise the final £15,000 by Christmas

We aim to complete the Balcony renovation in time for the Curzon’s centenary celebration in April of the completion of the 1922 building, the cinema we see today.

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 accounts@curzon.org.uk. Or to discuss your donation call 01275 871000 to speak to CEO, Susannah Shaw.

Artists Impression @timstephens.art 

* If funds raised exceed the cost of the balcony project, they will be spent on the wider development of the Curzon and our activities.