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Cinema needs your practical skills and help now say campaigners

Members of Bexhill Community Playhouse continue to fight for the future of the building in Western Road with hopes of giving cinema back to Bexhill.

They are currently in the process of buying the property from the owner, the charity Ormiston Trust, but are appealing for practical support from the town.

The group of supporters is “progressing well” in its negotiations with the Ormiston Trust and solicitors now have the contract to work on with the aim of purchasing the building in the next few weeks.

But a lack of funds means they could be left high and dry with plans to refurbish and so they are asking for local tradespeople to step in and help.

The group was turned down with its original offer of £390,000 but stepped up at the last minute to offer £475,000 which was then accepted by the charity because it equalled a bid from a third party, rumoured to be a pub chain.

David Royston-Lee of Bexhill Community Playhouse said: “This is fantastic news, however the price we have been forced to pay leaves us with no money to ensure the building is watertight while we work on raising the money to complete the major refurbishment programme and create a venue Bexhill can be truly proud of.

“So we are appealing to local tradespeople to ensure, once the building is ours, that it does not deteriorate any further. Our immediate need is to stop any more rainwater seeping in, mainly through a flat roof that has not been maintained.

We are also sure once we start looking that other work will also need doing once we have purchased the Cinema. Can anyone help us?

“Please email us on info@bexhillcommunityplayhouse.co.uk with any offers of help and we will reply immediately, or phone me on 07966 202243.”

The cinema, which opened in 1921, has been empty since March 2008 when it was known as the Redstack cinema.

Supporters plan to turn it into a two-screen cinema and a community space and they helped battle plans for the building to be demolished and turned into a shopping unit with flat above.

Chairman Tony Carr, said: “Our approach, making it a community cinema, focused on attracting parts of the community. It’s about bringing the town together.”

 

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