Broadwindsor Comrades Hall has been awarded a £6,000 grant to screen its own movies.
Money from The Big Lottery’s Awards for All England fund has paid for a large screen, a ceiling-mounted projector and a Blu Ray DVD player, which have been installed in time for the showing of the film Effie Gray on 9 January.
New stage lighting and spotlights for live presentations are also being put in.
“It’s great news,” said hall committee member Ian Butcher. “The hall has run a very successful programme of films over the years through rural film company Moviola but recent price increases meant it was becoming unviable.
“We wanted to carry on because the film evenings we have are always popular and it’s a great way to bring people from the village and wider community together.”
So the committee agreed to seek funding. Moviola will still supply the films but the hall committee will be able to use its own equipment.
Chris Newall, chairman of the Comrades Hall Management Committee, said: “This is a really exciting venture for the Comrades Hall and is something the whole village will be able to enjoy. It’s marvellous to think that Broadwindsor now has its own high quality cinema.”
Hall vice-chairman Andrew Hookings, who applied for the grant, said: “We wanted to be able to continue putting on regular film shows at an affordable price for the local community.
“Showing films in the hall that people want to see is a good way of helping to reduce social isolation in a rural community.
“We’re now looking at ways of widening our audience by perhaps having children’s matinees and themed evenings.
“We also now able to offer state-of-the art presentation equipment to businesses and organisations when they hire the hall.”
There will be a complimentary glass of bubbly for members of the audience at Effie Gray on 9 January to celebrate the award. The film will be preceded by a couple of shorts, including the village’s own version of Pharrell Williams’ Happy, which was made in the summer of 2015 by villagers Margery Hookings and Donna Heys.
- Picture shows Ian Butcher, left, and Nigel Budden who, with Denny Hughes, has been running the film shows at Broadwindsor for several years. Ian is taking over the role with the help of Margery Hookings.