Historic cinema to close for repairs

THE management of one of Suffolk's oldest cinemas is assuring customers that its ambience will not be damaged as the result of a refurbishment programme that has won a £30,000 grant.

By David Green

THE management of one of Suffolk's oldest cinemas is assuring customers that its ambience will not be damaged as the result of a refurbishment programme that has won a £30,000 grant.

Aldeburgh Cinema, which attracts customers from a wide rural area, will close on April 24 for a month to allow the work to be carried out.

It will include replacement of the 286 seats and the “unstable” floor and the repainting of the walls and stage.


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The auditorium of Aldeburgh Cinema was built in 1924 but its foyer and exhibition gallery are part of an 18th Century house.

News of the refurbishment project is disclosed in a newsletter distributed to regular customers, many of whom watch films at Aldeburgh because of the cinema's quaint, old world atmosphere.

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The newsletter attempts to reassure customers that the ambience of the auditorium will not be damaged.

“Whilst we all view its appearance with affection, rather like that of an old friend, quite a lot of fittings have become tired and worn,” it says.

The current rows of seats are irregularly spaced and slightly wider replacements have been ordered, claimed to be more comfortable.

“These are significant changes but we are optimistic that the 'feel' of the cinema will not change significantly.

“It will not be jazzy but will simply be more comfortable and enhance the cinema experience,” the newsletter adds.

It also reveals that the UK Film Council is to install a new digital projector in the cinema this month.

This is a result of Aldeburgh becoming part of a network involving about 200 cinemas nationwide to promote the showing of specialist films.

The cinema's projection booth has recently been refurbished and staff say it now compares favourably with the highest standards in the country.

Aldeburgh Cinema is one of the few independent cinemas still surviving in the UK.

Once a year its holds an annual documentary film festival which in the past has included discussions with leading film makers.

david.green@eadt.co.uk

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