New life for Film Theatre

IPSWICH: The town’s film theatre is set to reopen every week by the early summer.

The Ipswich Film Theatre Trust has almost reached agreement with the borough council to take over the theatre in the Corn Exchange complex.

That would allow it to open three days a week showing specialist films that cannot find a home at the town’s Cineworld multiplex.

The film theatre closed in October after operators Hollywood pulled out – claiming it was unable to make a going concern of the two-screen venue in the teeth of competition from Cineworld.

However since the closure film enthusiasts have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of anywhere showing “non-commercial” movies in the town.

Many of those nominated for Oscars or Baftas were not screened at Cineworld – or had a very short run at inconvenient times.

Andrew Clarke from the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust said it was hoped to reopen by the end of May.

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The film theatre would be open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights – and Mr Clarke was anxious to dispel the theory it would only show obscure, foreign-language films.

He said: “There are many films that have received critical acclaim, awards and nominations that simply are not being shown in Ipswich.

“Films like A Single Man (for which Colin Firth won a Bafta for best actor) and The Last Station (a big-budget epic based on the last year of Tolstoy’s life) have not come here at all.

“And The Hurt Locker and Nowhere Boy had a very short run in Ipswich – by the time people knew they were on, they had gone.

“These are the kind of films we want to bring to the town – we are sure there are people out there who want to see them,” he said.

Talks with the borough were at an advanced stage but a few questions needed to be ironed out – including whether both the film theatre’s screens would be included in the deal.

Mr Clarke said: “Our talks have gone very well. We are almost there and we should have the film theatre back in business very soon.”

What would you like to see at the film theatre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail