Survival boost for Bridgnorth cinema

A cinema boss says every penny of a £115,000 grant will help towards survival as he hopes for a return to showtime.

Majestic Cinema manager James Frizzell says the £115k government grant is a “welcome relief” and will help secure its future
Majestic Cinema manager James Frizzell says the £115k government grant is a “welcome relief” and will help secure its future

Bridgnorth’s Majestic Cinema, run by Reel Cinemas group, will be getting the cash boost from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The latest round of funding was announced last week, and manager James Frizzell, who started as a projectionist at the cinema 14 years ago, said it comes as a welcome relief.

“It works out to about £115,000 for Bridgnorth and it’s going to help us so much.

“It’s been tough. We did manage to open just before Christmas. We were in Tier 3 so we were still allowed to open. I think there were only three Reel cinemas allowed to open in the whole country.

“We had all the measures in place. There were nine seats empty for every ticket that was bought. We cut our capacity right down. We staggered leaving times and finished screenings earlier. When people came they could see it was safe, but we did see a massive drop in numbers.

“We’ve got running costs. The electric bill has been the big one because we have to keep our projectors running. If we don’t we lose our warranty.

“We had to give thousands of pounds worth of food away to the food banks or it would have gone out of date. We should be able to claim back for that.

“We were due to have a refurb last year. I think that will get done. The front needs doing. And we should have had a new kiosk. This was supposed to be happening last April but we weren’t expecting a pandemic.

“We’ve lost a whole year, so every penny we get is helping towards our survival. It’ll help keep all our staff in a job. The cinema has been here since 1937 and we want to keep it that way.”

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