Leiston: Film theatre support club continues to go from strength to strength as it celebrates 21st anniversary

The Leiston Film Theatre.

The Leiston Film Theatre. - Credit: Archant

For more than 20 years it has been vital to Suffolk’s oldest purpose built independent cinema - raising over £140,000 to ensure it continues to benefit the community.

The work of the Leiston Film Theatre Support Club has been invaluable to the venue’s ongoing development. Next month members will hold a special “coming of age” exhibition to mark the group’s anniversary.

It formed in 1992 after it emerged that the cinema - which next year celebrates its centenary and is owned by the town council - was in need of comprehensive refurbishment and major investment.

Members pledged to protect the film theatre from closure and help improve its facilities through a programme of ambitious fundraising. For 21 years it has successfully adhered to its aims, organising a variety of events and steadily increasing membership.

Current chairman Lelsey Hill said: “Over £140,000 has been raised over the past 21 years ensuring that this unique asset continues to develop and move forward for the benefit of the local community and the many thousands of followers who visit it annually.” The club has helped finance some of the biggest changes to the theatre and has been successful in gaining high profile patrons including actor Bill Nighy and broadcaster Libby Purves.

The free Coming of Age exhibition is on Saturday, September 21, at the Leiston Community Centre between 10am-4pm. Mrs Hill said: “Everybody is welcome to come along to learn how the club has supported the film theatre. There will be a variety of static displays together with albums of photographs, a time-line history and archive documents. Committee members look forward to meeting members and visitors alike.”