Town's cinema is reel-ly successful

By David LennardFILM lovers in Southwold can enjoy the autumn season of shows knowing the town's impressive Electric Picture Palace building is free from debt.

By David Lennard

FILM lovers in Southwold can enjoy the autumn season of shows knowing the town's impressive Electric Picture Palace building is free from debt.

The highly successful Edwardian-style cinema has paid back its £50,000 five-year loan in just 12 months, thanks to the generosity of members of the Southwold Film Society.

The building was officially opened in Black Mill Road 16 months ago by television star Michael Palin.


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An ambitious £135,000 project brought cinema back to Southwold after a break of almost 40 years.

It involved buying a disused former stable and builder's store and converting it into a 66-seat cinema.

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The conversion included creating an upper circle and the building even has a traditional cinema organ that rises from beneath the floor.

The cinema is run on a members' club basis and chairman John Bennett said since it opened membership had soared to more than 1,600.

He is one of three trustees of the cinema along with David Forster and Frank Clarke.

“A year ago we took out a five-year business loan of £50,000 and we have paid it off in a year,” said Mr Bennett.

He added the cinema was now standing on its own two feet with no debt. “It is all down to the support and generosity of our members,” said Mr Bennett.

Despite achieving the significant milestone of repaying the business loan, the cinema still needs to raise funds to sustain it for the future and any donations are welcomed.

The autumn season of classics and new movies continues at the cinema and films booked include Doctor in the House, Arsenic and Old Lace, Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers, The Ladykillers, The Pianist, The Day Divorcee, A Night to Remember, Anna Karenina and Love Actually.

More details are available from the box office on 07815 769565.

david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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