No lottery cash for community cinema

Honiton Community Cinema appeals to the town council for help to buy equipment.

HONITON’S community cinema will continue after a successful launch - if funding can be secured.

An application for lottery funding has been rejected.

Councillor Marianne Harman, who is chairman of the community cinema committee, told Honiton Town Council at a meeting last week that the committee was eager to push ahead with the project following the success of its first screening last month, but needed funding to ensure it continues.

She said: “We had a really fantastic first showing during our test screening. It was a complete sell out – we sold 120 tickets. It was a real success and I was overwhelmed and thrilled about how well we did.

“We are now in a good position, but we do need to push forward with our programme.”

The test screening last September took �536 and the committee has now booked the Mackarness Hall until the end of next year. However, the council heard that the project had not been successful in its bid for Lottery funding and, in order to ensure it continues, funding would be needed to buy equipment.

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The money made from the test screening would be going towards the costs of renting the films and paying for the other costs.

Mrs Harman said that the cinema could self-fund itself for the rest of 2011, but serious consideration had to be given to purchasing their own equipment.

She said: “If the costs are what I think, we can keep going until Christmas, self funding.”

The British Federation of Film Societies, which supplied the equipment and film for the pilot screening, has agreed to supply the equipment free-of-charge for the next screening later this month.

The committee has also received an anonymous donation, which will help cover the costs of its screenings in November and December.

She said: “We really need to ask the town council for help towards equipment.

“The reason is that it would not be cost effective to hire the equipment.

“I don’t think we could keep going with the cost of �300 to �350 per showing and we cannot show films without the equipment.

“If we cannot hire the equipment, we’ll go bust in January.”

The council will look into funding the project during its next meeting of the policy and finance committee next month.

The community cinema will be hosting its next screening, Made in Dagenham, on October 28 and, after that on the third Friday of every month in the Mackarness Hall.