Restaurateur pledges to raise £5k for cinema

Junior Poon has pledged to support the Curzon's fundraising campaign.

Junior Poon has pledged to support the Curzon's fundraising campaign. - Credit: Curzon Cinema

A restaurateur has pledged to raise £5,000 towards a cinema's fundraising appeal.

Until the end of August, Junior Poon, in Clevedon, will donate 100 per cent from the sale of gift vouchers, up to a maximum of £5,000 in support of the Curzon Cinema's #BringBackTheBalcony campaign.

The money raised will help pay for the Curzon’s historic balcony to be reopened 49 years after it was closed to the public.

The project will help put the charity in a stronger position to survive and recover from the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An artist's impression of the proposed balcony seating area. 

An artist's impression of the proposed balcony seating area. - Credit: Tim Stephens

Junior said: “The Curzon is such a vital part of our community, a place that is loved by us all.

"I’m delighted to support such a wonderful project to bring back the lost era of the unique balcony and help the Curzon come back stronger after one of the most difficult years in its history.”

Gift vouchers will have a special extended life of two years and be valid to spend on takeaways, in the restaurant and wine bar when restrictions lift, or when dining al fresco.

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The Curzon was open for just four weeks in the past year, leaving its future uncertain.

The cinema hopes to reopen on May 17, but with coronavirus social distancing and cleaning measures reducing audience capacity from 330 to just 90 people and the number of possible screenings to just two, there remains a real risk to the charity as outgoings remain the same.

The charity launched a fundraising campaign to bring back the balcony in March which has already raised £22,000.

MORE: Cinema launches £70k fundraising appeal to increase capacity and aid covid recovery.

Revamping the space, which has been hidden from view since 1972, will increase its socially distanced capacity by 30 per cent, putting the cinema in a stronger position to survive and recover.

Karen Edgington, the cinema's fundraising campaign manager, said: “Junior Poon Restaurant and Wine Bar is an institution in Clevedon - this is an incredibly generous offer from Junior and one which means people can support an exciting project that will transform our ability to recover from this crisis - at the same time as buying a gift for a loved one or treating themselves. We all need a treat right now.”

The work on the balcony will be completed within four to six weeks when £70,000 is raised.

New platforms will be built for 25 luxurious armchairs, sofas and tables. Improvements include speakers, lighting and safety rails.

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