Community benefit Award winning Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, Prestatyn

Scala Cinema originally opened in 1913, but was forced to close in December 2000 due to neglect and the high cost of much needed repairs. However, following a lengthy campaign by the local community the site was restored and re-opened as a new, state of the art cinema and arts centre in 2009; revitalising Prestatyn and the surrounding area in the process.

The site now offers a 150 seat, multi use auditorium, suited not only to showcasing the latest cinematic releases, but also providing an excellent venue for the performing arts, dance and exercise classes, fairs and markets. The community also has access to the centres new social and training facilities, exhibition spaces and meeting rooms.

The new Scala comprises a modern extention, set back behind a small scale, early 20th century high street frontage, which has been restored and adapted to the buildings new use.

Designed with economy of operation in mind to ensure its future sustainability, the project entails the reuse of part of an existing building, which had been vacant for a number of years, and aims to support the vitality and viability of the town centre. A new glass canopy forms a contemporary counterpoint to the Victorian façade, while a high level of visibility is afforded by a large glazed screen between the street and the entrance foyer, making the building welcoming and accessible to all visitors.

This is an extraordinary example of how the passion of local residents can help drive a project through to completion. After a nine year struggle, the local community of Prestatyn is finally able to enjoy the superb facilities of this engaging cinema and arts centre.

Simon Pott, Chairman of the Judging Panel

Source: RICS Website, The mark of property professionalism worldwide.