First phase of cinema work complete

THE first phase of building work at Clevedon’s historic cinema is complete.

After six months, the scaffolding around The Curzon Community Cinema has come down and the plastic covering is coming off a project that has opened up areas of the building largely unseen since the 1970s.

Crumbling brickwork has also been restored after decades of neglect.

This is the most extensive programme of work carried out on the Old Church Road building for almost 80 years and was partly funded by a grant of �321,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Curzon director Gareth Negus said: “We wanted to open up the heritage of the Curzon to our visitors, including not only the physical building but its social history, and what it has meant to the people of Clevedon over the past century.”

As part of the work, the foyer has been enlarged, The Oak Room has been refurbished with new toilets and kitchen facilities, the adjoining Oak Room Lounge will have new sofa seating installed, partition walls hiding the staircase to the balcony have been removed and The Upper Gallery has been extensively repaired along with the badly damaged roof.

Early next year, the Curzon Collection Team will be working on vintage projectors to enable them to be displayed and some to be operated.

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In March, the cinema’s opening hours will be extended allowing people more time to view the collection of projectors from past cinema years.

The next stage will be to raise enough money to repair the remainder of the roof, which will then allow the inner balcony to be re-opened to the public.