Cinema eyes reopening date after raising more than £30k for repairs

The Riverside in Woodbridge is facing an uncertain future Picture: KATY SANDALLS

The Riverside in Woodbridge will re-open in September - Credit: Katy Sandalls

The popular Riverside Cinema in Woodbridge will reopen later this year after a successful crowdfunding campaign helped them amount more than £30,000 in donations. 

The cinema has struggled after a gas leak was found and its boiler broke down over the winter lockdown closure, leading to damage within the auditorium itself which will cost thousands of pounds to repair. 

While the cinema's neighbouring bar, A Listers, has fully reopened, the Riverside itself was only able to reopen for just 11 days once restrictions allowed, before closing again because of the problems. 

In order to reopen, the cinema asked for help from its supporters; setting up a crowdfunding site where they hoped to raise £50,000. 

In the end the crowdfunder raised a little less money than had been hoped, reaching £32,500.

However, the cinema has revealed it is going ahead with the repairs and has been looking into different types of heating. 

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Scaffolding is already up at the cinema with a new speaker system, bought before the pandemic, also being installed. 

A Listers will also be building a bar in the cinema's foyer to be used during theatre performance intermissions. 

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Riverside owner Stuart Saunders said he was incredibly grateful for all the help and support the cinema had received over a difficult 18 months. 

"I can't thank them enough," said Mr Saunders. 

"A huge thank you to everyone.

"It's so lovely that people do appreciate what we are doing there. It's not just a business."

Mr Saunders said he hoped that by the time the cinema reopened there would be less restrictions so that more people could enjoy the space. 

"It would be good to open with fewer restrictions," said Mr Saunders. 

"I think it is looking better than it has done." 

Mr Saunders said he looked forward to the venue being busy again, as was already the case with A Listers.

"I dare not think of the crowds when both are open," said Mr Saunders. 

It's hoped that the cinema will have a new programme out in August with the box office also reopening before the Riverside reopens fully in September. 

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