Twenty-five years ago 30,000 people desperately tried to save the cinema in Wellington from the axe.
But despite cinema-goers signing petitions in their droves, the Clifton cinema was closed.
Now, nearly three decades on, a new battle has been launched to bring the venue in Bridge Road back to life.
Media students at Telford College of Arts and Technology have launched a campaign to try to get it reopened after gaining huge public support.
The Clifton opened in January 1937 screening a Shirley Temple film and shut in April 1983. Part of the site was reopened in 1987 as a Saverite supermarket, but it was closed again in 1988.
The site was later converted to house a laser gun entertainment complex in a £250,000 refit in 1993.
In recent years the building has been used by Dunelm but is now on the market after the home furnishings giant moved out of the site in May to the Forge Retail Park, in Telford.
A spokesman for estate agents Cushman and Wakefield said the two former Dunelm buildings, which originally housed the cinema, were either to be let or sold. The 18,000 sq ft building will cost £120,000 per annum to lease or £850,000 to buy.
The smaller building is £50,000 per annum to lease or £450,000 to buy.
But students surveyed residents as part of their HND media studies course and discovered massive support for the idea to bring the cinema back.
Mature student Kevin Lafferty, 47, from Cheswardine, said that 97 per cent of the people the students questioned were in favour of the building re-opening as a multi-purpose cinema.
He said: “The campaign follows the response we got from people in the town.”
The Clifton Focus Group has now been formed which will meet on November 19 at TCAT from 5pm to thrash out ways of funding the scheme.
Wellington councillor Miles Hosken has been invited to the focus group meeting and says he is fully behind it.
He said: “It is a golden opportunity and I think it is wonderful and quite exciting.
“I know they have an uphill battle to get funding but they are very active. It would be great for Wellington.”
He called on the town’s business and civic leaders to support the campaign, saying: “It is a new concept and I think the public would show a great interest in this.”
He also called for the scheme to be widened to include premises for local art groups and drama enthusiasts.
Mr Lafferty said: “We started the survey and found that the Clifton was a real buzz- word and people kept saying they really want it to reopen.”
He said they would discuss possible avenues of funding and appealed for local businesses to support the scheme. He said they would also look at English Heritage, the Arts Council, European funding and the lottery as possible avenues of funding.
Wellington town councillor Chris Brittain said: “I am 100 per cent behind it. I know they are building in Telford but Telford gets everything and our town gets left out.
“There is nothing for the youth around here, except pubs and nightclubs and that is where the problems start. A cinema would get a lot of the young ones off the streets.”
A Facebook campaign group was started earlier this month and campaigners are also urging people to attend an Ideas Farm on Saturday, November 10, from 10.30am until 1.30pm in Wellington Civic Centre.
Postcards are being circulated around the town which show the Clifton Cinema up and running as an arts venue with a theatre, cinema, cafe bar and rehearsals.
Paul Sherry, secretary of Wellington Partnership, said: “The ideas farm aims is to gather together ideas and thoughts about how Wellington town centre can be improved for all, residents, businesses and shoppers, and also for new visitors to the town who may not be aware of its attractions.
“The event is completely open and fairly unstructured allowing maximum flexibility and enabling anyone with a ‘pet project’ to expand on their idea and gather support from others with similar interests.
“The aim is to generate a positive feel which concentrates on an exciting future in a town which has flourished since medieval times, has seen recent improvements to its buildings and paving and now has the potential to do much more.”