Local support secures future of digital cinema at Hambleton Forum

Sat, 1 Sep 2012

The future looks bright for film lovers in Northallerton as Hambleton District Council announces a £70,000 investment in Hambleton Forum to support the facility as it transfers to a newly established community group The Forum (Ltd). The award includes a £22,000 grant to purchase the state of the art digital cinema equipment put in place by Cine Yorkshire as part of the £400,000 BFI pilot initiative, which aims to bring a high quality digital cinema experience to communities most underserved by cinema provision in the UK.

The new user group has also been successful in securing £8,000 from Creative England's Film Culture Fund to support the cinema as it transfers to independent ownership, with continuing operational support from Cine Yorkshire and Hambleton District Council.

The investments in the cinema and its operation under the newly formed Forum Group succeeds Cine Yorkshire’s pilot residency at the venue, which presented its first film on the big screen in September 2011. The award includes funds to install satellite equipment at the venue, enabling it to screen live broadcasts from alternative content providers such as the NT Live series, which has been incredibly successful at other Cine Yorkshire network venues including Selby Town Hall and Galtres Centre, Easingwold.

Hambleton Forum has a bumper programme of films coming up , including kids blockbuster favourites such as Brave, compelling hit doc drama The Imposter and the highly anticipated action epic remake Total Recall. Full listings

The future operation of the cinema at Hambleton Forum will be led by volunteers from the newly established Forum Group, who will continue to benefit from the critical technical and programming expertise offered by Cine Yorkshire lead delivery partners the National Media Museum.

Alex Stolz, Senior Executive, Distribution and Exhibition, BFI, said: "The community in Northalleton has embraced the Hambleton Forum facility and it's great to see that local enthusiasm for and commitment to community-driven cinema has won key funding support from Hambleton District Council. This permanent new cinema facility in North Yorkshire is a fantastic legacy for the BFI's rural cinema initiative and a real win for film lovers in North Yorkshire."

Cine Yorkshire Project manager Rachel McWatt says: ''Cine Yorkshire’s residency at Hambleton Forum offered audiences access to the latest film releases for the first time, whilst enabling the venue to gauge appetite for the cinema before committing to a long term investment. The support and enthusiasm of both the local community and Hambleton District Council has been critical to the success of the cinema, which now programmes more regular film slots to reflect increasing audience demand and we look forward to continuing to support the new Forum Group as it embarks on this exciting new phase.’’

Board Chairman of the new Forum Group, David Allan, says: ''This is an incredibly exciting time for the residents of Northallerton and now we have the funding in place, we are able to press ahead and really make this happen. The cinema has been a great hit with the local community and it will be central to our leisure programme going forwards - it has not only played a key role in attracting more patrons to the venue, but has been instrumental in stoking the enthusiasm and support of our local volunteers,

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