Film fans push for a cinema

PORTISHEAD will have a community cinema if people living in the town have their way.

PORTISHEAD could have a community cinema if people living in the town have their way.

Residents are calling for the current library building to be returned to its former use when the existing facility moves to the new library in Harbour Road later this year.

The old limestone building served as a picture house in the 1920s and 30s.

Now, members of the community say they want to see the North Somerset Council-owned building retained to benefit the public and not sold off to the highest bidder.

Residents say that with the vast growth of the town, Portishead desperately needs more social facilities and a cinema would be ideal for all age groups.

Members of Portishead Film, a community group that screens films monthly in Portishead, have welcomed the idea and will discuss the proposal at a meeting tomorrow (Thurs).

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David Coombes, a spokeman for the organisation, said: “We would support any plans to use the existing library building as a cinema in the future and will be discussing how the project could move forward.”

Film fans are now hoping to start a campaign group in the town to see their dream become a reality.

Great-grandmother June Holder of Springfield Road says she thinks it is vital the building is used for recreational facilities.

The 80-year-old said: “I can remember when the building was a cinema and it would cost us 1’6d to get in.

“It was popular when Portishead was just a village, so in a town the size it is today I have no doubt it would be well used.

“If we get the ball rolling now before the library moves, we could be in a position to set up a community trust to manage a cinema, just like we have with the swimming pool, by the time the building is empty.”

Portishead Town Council chairman Reyna Knight said: “I am not at all surprised to hear that members of the community want to start a campaign to use the building for a cinema.

“This is what the people of Portishead do best - they fight for what they believe in to make a difference to our town.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We are currently concentrating on providing the new library, which will have far superior facilities for the people of Portishead.”