Silver screen boost for Suffolk town

THE silver screen looks set to make a comeback in a Suffolk town this year - more than two decades after its cinema closed.Sudbury's Quay Theatre will start showing films in September if it clinches a grant for new screening equipment.

THE silver screen looks set to make a comeback in a Suffolk town this year - more than two decades after its cinema closed.

Sudbury's Quay Theatre will start showing films in September if it clinches a grant for new screening equipment.

Quay director Robert Benton said an application for £12,000 from funding body Screen East would be ready in around a month and he is expecting a decision from the organisation by late spring or early summer.

“We should get a decision by the end of May and that will give us plenty of time to launch this autumn,” he said.


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As well as providing a boost for film-lovers, the project is expected to make a profit of up to £5,000 a year.

Sudbury has been without a film venue since the final showings at the Gainsborough Cinema in the 1980s.

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Although the Quay staged film nights, the theatre was forced to abandon the evenings when its ageing projection equipment became outdated.

But last year a survey carried out by theatre bosses showed strong support for reviving cinema in the town and the results will be used to back the bid for funding, said Mr Benton.

The likely revival of cinema in Sudbury comes after the long-awaited multi-screen cinema in Bury St Edmunds finally won planning approval after years of bitter campaigning by opponents to the site in Parkway.

Construction of the cinema is set to start in the next few months and it should be open for business by early next year.

Decisions about frequency of screenings at the Quay and the type of films to be shown will not be taken until Screen East announces its decision on funding.

The theatre will not be allowed to screen brand new releases but will probably win the rights to mainstream films before they go to video.

Seasons of classic films and archive footage are other possibilities should the funding bid be successful, added Mr Benton.

Meanwhile, film fans keen to know what goes on behind as well as in front of the camera can sign up for classes at the Quay this spring.

Experienced professional filmmaker Andrew Hill is running a course on how to take a movie project from script to screen. The course consists of ten two-hour sessions on Friday nights from the end of February.

The course costs £100 and for more information call the theatre on 01787 374745.

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