Memo launches cinema mission

BARRY LISTING: General manager Kate Long and trustee Richard Thomas show the Memo children’s holiday film programme to young visitor Morgan Norfolk from Cheltenham

BARRY LISTING: General manager Kate Long and trustee Richard Thomas show the Memo children’s holiday film programme to young visitor Morgan Norfolk from Cheltenham

First published in News

A BARRY entertainment venue is hoping to secure big screen action as it launches a £75,000 appeal to bring cinema to Wales’ largest town.

The Barry Memo hopes to raise the cash as part of its drive to bring digital cinema - showing the latest films – to Barry.

It launched the Love film? We do too! #BARRYCINEMEMO campaign this week to raise the match funding needed for a potential Arts Council Wales Lottery grant.

The Memo was invited to bid for a grant from the Arts Council’s Digital Cinema conversion scheme and, if successful, the £150,000 investment would enable it to make much needed refurbishments and purchase state-of-the-art digital projection equipment, including a new roll down cinema screen with automated masking.

It would also be able to install dynamic surround sound equipment to deliver a dynamic digital cinema.

Barry’s last remaining cinema, The Theatre Royal, on Broad Street, closed in April 2008 – despite a Save Our Cinema campaign which included a 10,000 signature petition of support.

The venue’s film programme Cine-memo has shown more than 80 films on the Vale’s biggest screen since January 2013 and in September 2013 the Film Agency for Wales - now Ffilm Cymru – asked the Memo to apply for three year core funding, to support its specialised film, enable it to screen a wider programme for all age groups, and support additional educational projects.

The Arts Council of Wales (ACW) Lottery Capital Division, in October 2013, asked the Memo to provide an expression of interest for capital funding as part of their Phase 2 Digital Cinema Conversion Project.

A Memo spokeswoman said: “Our film programme has become loved by many, and now we are calling all film lovers to help us with our important fundraising campaign, which will bring all we need into the venue to make the best cinema experience possible. This will enable the Memo to show the latest blockbusters in Barry as new releases and show live streaming events, including West End shows, national ballets, operas and major events, so our lovely old Memo has what it takes to be Barry’s Digital Cinema.

“Barry is the largest town in Wales, with no cinema provision.

“The Memo has a long established history as a cultural hub for the people of Barry.

“The Memo is very excited that it has been selected as one of the six venues to potentially receive the Arts Council Wales Lottery investment to enable us to present cinema at its very best.”

“As a Registered Charity, the Memo relies on its funders and its audiences to help and support the development of the venue, its programme and its future success.

“Raising the £75,000 matched funding is now a paramount objective for the Memo staff and trustees. The Memo is currently in discussion with a number of principle funders to assist our future development and to support the digital cinema investment.”

The Memo is now calling for the support from people in Barry.

The Memo spokeswoman added: “Whether you afford to give in pennies or pounds, your donation will make a real difference. Our campaign is asking if you can make an individual donation of £5, the cost of a cinema ticket, by texting MEMO15 £5 to 7007.”

Donations can also be made by completing gift aid donation forms (available from the Box office and online), and via collection tins at its bar and cafe.

For information, email

fundraising@memoartscentre.co.uk

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