Big screens coming to village halls

HOLLYWOOD could be coming to small towns and villages across Suffolk if a new initiative to bring digital film technology to the masses is successful. If the Suffolk Digital Cinema Network takes off community centres and village halls could be turned into mini cinemas on a regular basis.

HOLLYWOOD could be coming to small towns and villages across Suffolk if a new initiative to bring digital film technology to the masses is successful.

If the Suffolk Digital Cinema Network takes off community centres and village halls could be turned into mini cinemas on a regular basis.

District and borough councils across Suffolk are currently working alongside Green East, the regional agency for film in an effort to co-ordinate the project which would see the formation of film clubs across the county.

These clubs would then join together to purchase portable equipment needed to show films in such venues.


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Kevin Gosling, Arts Development Officer for Suffolk Coastal District Council said "The business plan is being drawn up and it is hoped that this non profit making organisation can be launched in September.

Town and parish councils will be invited to join the association and once it is formed they will be able to make funding applications for five or six kits of travelling cinema equipment which they would then share between them."

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One of the project's first trial ventures is to screen three films at Framlingham Technology Centre on July 25 as part of the Framlingham Arts Festival. The centre has a 35-seater presentation theatre and is equipped to show DVD on a large screen.

Technology centre co-ordinator Jenny Davy said "One of the centre's aims is to include the wider community. We have had several people interested in running a film club before but they haven't known how to go about it. Hopefully this event will give them a starting point and lead to something bigger."

Screen East, who are supporting the project, are members of the Film Council and one of their roles is to make cinema accessible to as many people as possible.

They recognise the difficulties of this in rural areas and are excited about the possibilities offered by the latest DVD technology.

Martin Ayres, Screen East's head of education and screen development, said: "Cinema provision in rural areas is lagging behind. Densely populated areas such as Ipswich are well catered for but the smaller rural communities miss out.

"We want to use new digital technology to bring film to as many people as possible."

The films showing at Framlingham on July 25 are 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,' 'Help! I'm a Fish' and 'The Dish'. For details of showing times and how to book call the Eastern Angles on 01473 211498.

* What do you think? Are you sick of travelling miles to the cinema? Would you watch films in your village hall? Write to Your Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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