The Electric Palace Cinema in Hastings Old Town has been transformed thanks to a local initiative that resulted in the installation of 48 stunning 1930s gold chairs.
Founded in 2002 the community based independent Electric Palace Cinema attracts a wide following of local film lovers and film makers.
The cinema’s success began with festivals and film competitions organised by co-founder’s Rebecca Marshall and Rachel Pearson.
The initiative to raise money to install new seats began at the beginning of December 2016, with a film poster auction, held at the Electric Palace.
Poster auctioneer Glenys Jacques says it was a fabulous fun event, adding: “Over a hundred people came to bid for their favourite classics.”
In addition to the poster auction many local community members and businesses sponsored the cinema by purchasing special brass seat plaques for each new seat, with custom made frames by local metal sculptor Leigh Dyer.
There are still ten plaques available to purchase at £100 each.
Anyone who would like to purchase a plaque or would like further information is asked to contact the cinema direct.
Around £5,000 was raised from the poster auction and the sale of the plaques which covered the cost of purchasing and installing the 48 fabulous 1930s gold velvet upholstered chairs.
Rebecca says it was wonderful to see the new seats finally arrive last week.
“They are comfortable and roomy,” she said. “And with a new raised platform for better viewing, the venue is transformed, whilst keeping its original boutique charm.
“This is a really unique community cinema. Everything has been paid for by our loyal community audience.
“We have not received any external funding for the refurbishment and the fact so many people have backed us really shows how strong the support is for this cinema.
“We are so proud and thankful to all our film enthusiasts!”
Rebecca says there are exciting times ahead. “A new venture is Electric Shakespeare, an invitation for the community to participate in new community Shakespeare events, run by Royal Shakespeare Company actors Mary Chater and Julian Curry.
“The cinema walls are used for local artists to hang their work and have it exposed to a regular changing audience.
“The Electric Palace is also available for private event bookings as well as other local initiatives such as theatre rehearsals and writers testing out new scripts.
“The cinema thrives to due to a committed team of volunteers who help to run and staff each screening, welcoming the customers and creating the vibrant and engaging atmosphere the Electric Palace is know for.”