Group aims to keep film theatre alive

IPSWICH: Film buffs who want more choice than the usual big budget blockbusters have been handed their own cliff-hanger as the Hollywood Film Theatre in the Corn Exchange closed its doors.

IPSWICH: Film buffs who want more choice than the usual big budget blockbusters have been handed their own cliff-hanger as the Hollywood Film Theatre in the Corn Exchange closed its doors.

But with any luck, they won't have to cling on for too long before the titles start rolling again because a small group of supporters of the former film theatre have banded together and have pledged to keep independent and world cinema alive in the town.

The group hope to form the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust with the aim of screening not only current releases but classics from the archives.

Group spokesman Andrew Clarke said: “It's very early days but we are confident there is an audience for a broad range of films in Ipswich and the surrounding area.

“We are looking to screen films for just a couple of evenings a week to start with while we find our feet.

“We are currently holding talks with the borough council, exploring the possibilities of continuing to use the cinema facilities within the Corn Exchange.

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“We have a number of people on board already with contacts within the cinema industry, people with experience of running cinemas.”

Mr Clarke added: “We have support from teachers and lecturers from schools and colleges locally and we will be programming films to tie in with the texts and subjects they will be teaching. For example, we are currently exploring a Film Noir strand.

“But, most importantly we see the revived Ipswich Film Theatre as a community cinema. It belongs to the people who use it. We will always be open to programming suggestions. We want it to be part of people's lives - hopefully an important part.”

Judy Terry, borough portfolio holder for leisure, said she was confident that specialist films would have a home in Ipswich. “We are in talks with the trust and hope that screenings can soon resume at the theatre.”

The group is to start compiling a mailing list of people interested in using and supporting the new Ipswich Film Theatre, as well as recruiting volunteer ushers. Further information can be obtained by emailing the following address: film@iftt.co.uk.

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