Monday, May 20, 2024
GeneralCOMMUNITY CINEMA SAVED

COMMUNITY CINEMA SAVED

AFTER an incredible three months of the ‘Save Your Cinema’ fundraising campaign, Newcastle Community Cinema has announced it has reached its target to cover the cost to replace its heating system. The combination of overwhelming support from the local community and the Parish, alongside funding from the Department for Communities through Northern Ireland Screen, means the broken heating system can be replaced, and business can finally resume for NCC, its audiences, and those who hire the hall.

The fundraising for the new system totalled £55,000 and that amount will cover the installation of the new gas system, the removal of the old one, and redecoration. The NCC hope that all work will be completed by the end of May. Newcastle Community Cinema, a registered charity, has been operating in the town since 2009, providing regular community engagement and outreach opportunities, including Silver Screenings, which is aimed at the socially isolated, baby-friendly screenings for new parents and guardians with children up to about 12 months old, not to mention regular toddler clubs, world cinema shows, Friday Fright Nights, and a wealth of local collaborative screenings.

Thanking the local community and funders for their generous support, chairman Rob Manley said: “We were genuinely lost for words when we received the phone call about the funding to fix the heating system, it means so much to all of our volunteers, that we can now get back to doing what we love, and serving our community.

“It almost goes without saying, but repairing the heating system is vital because we regularly cater for vulnerable people, the elderly, and children with learning difficulties, so having a warm, safe environment for everyone is absolutely imperative to us. That’s why we are truly grateful, because of what it means to those groups of people that we can now welcome back to NCC. “We’d particularly like to say an extraspecial thank you for the huge amount of love and support the community and beyond has shown Newcastle Community Cinema over this campaign. For all of the contributions to the online GoFundMe campaign, to everyone who attended one (or more!) of our fundraising events; Joe Rooney’s aka Father Damo’s appearance, the pro bono performances of the artistes of Club Fantastique for the Cabaret Night, the amazing prizes donated by local businesses for raffle prizes and cash left in the buckets; every penny given has all contributed to swell the coffers to make this worthwhile. Newcastle Community Cinema’s landlord, the Parish of Maghera, also generously contributed, by kindly waiving rent for a number of years.”

There were positive reactions to the news in Belfast too. Regular champion of NCC and Head of Film Hub NI Hugh Odling-Smee had this to say upon hearing the great news that the target had been reached: “NCC are such a key part of cinema culture in Northern Ireland, and such a vital asset for their community, it was important that an effort was made to secure their future. Film Hub NI are delighted that audiences will be able to enjoy the brilliant offering of NCC for years to come.” Newcastle Community Cinema plans to re-open at the end of May, and they assure us that, thanks to everybody’s endeavours, support and contributions, a very warm welcome awaits! To stay up to date with the new programme of events, visit www.newcastlecinema.org or the cinema’s social media pages.

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