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TOPIC: Renovating an old cinema - advice needed

Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 10 Nov 2009 06:47 #32774

  • horrgakx
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Hi all - I need to talk to people who can offer advice on potentially restoring an old style cinema...

The short version of this is that I live in a small UK town where a historic cinema closed 6 years ago due to competition from a multiplex. But the good news is that the cinema is very much undamaged and has only deteriorated through lack of maintenance throughout those few years. The building is even heated, fully alarmed, un-vandalised, all the electricity is still active, etc... due to the floor below being a different and successful venture.

Anyway, I was given permission to take pictures recently in the cinema (which I did and it was amazing, the pictures are online on my Flickr account >here< if anyone is interested) and it got me thinking...

There isn't any work being done to keep the cinema in a working condition for obvious reasons, though the roof has just been done to preserve the building. The ultimate objective would be to show a film using the original equipment (the original in-situ projection equipment dates back - shall we say - a few years).

I understand that there have been 2 attempts in the last 4 years to reopen the cinema. I'm not going to pull the wool over anyone's eyes, including mine, to kid anyone into believing it would make a lot of money. I'm thinking of ideas which would keep it ticking over but most of all preserve this important facility.
Last Edit: 10 Nov 2009 06:53 by horrgakx.
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Re:Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 10 Nov 2009 10:29 #32778

  • slapintheface
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WOW--NICE THEATER
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Re:Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 10 Nov 2009 11:39 #32781

  • Ken Layton
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Yes indeed, WOW certainly describes this gem of a theater!

Maybe you could try a once-a-month movie event of a famous blockbuster movie?
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Re:Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 10 Nov 2009 16:16 #32783

  • revrobor
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The projector will last for many years to come. It appears to be a Westrex (Century) one of the best machines made. Just have that equipment serviced. Whatever you do don't cut the cinema up into multiple auditoriums and try to compete with the multiplex or even be a sub-run. Do something different like running foreign, classic and independent films. If there is a large enough Christian demographic in your area you might try an occasional Christian film (from Sherwood Pictures or Cloud Ten). You might also try special matinees (for seniors and clubs) and midnight shows of horror films. This cinema is on the second floor?
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re:Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 12 Nov 2009 10:46 #32795

  • Mike
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It's hard for us to advise as we are mainly US and there is a different mentality that we may not appreciate. Why not ask the owner for a 2 month lease: try it. Dip your toe into the market? Is there a local downtown or community group or center city funding source? Could it be run as a village non-profit? Anyway: the theatre looks beautiful. Do you get Screen Trade magazine? Mike
Michael Hurley
Impresario
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Re:Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 01 Dec 2009 15:56 #32908

  • Steve Culp
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I agree nice theater. I just finished renovating a Indian movie
theater in new england and was amazed at the turnout. I know England
has a large Indian population is this an option for you?
Steve
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Re:Renovating an old cinema - advice needed 02 Dec 2009 13:20 #32915

  • RoxyVaudeville
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Am I correct in assuming that this was a large movie palace where the ground level has been converted to other uses and the balcony retained as a cinema?

Just curious. From the pictures that is the way it looks. It's a great looking theatre.
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