Daily Post: Singer Mike Peters and Hollywood director Sara Sugarman give their backing to campaign to save the Scala cinema

Stars of music and film have given their backing to the campaign to save a beleaguered arts centre.

Watch a video of cinema manager Chris Bond urging people to save the arts centre and keep its vital funding:-

Mike Peters, the Prestatyn-born frontman of The Alarm, and Sara Sugarman, the Rhyl-born Hollywood director, have pledged their support for the Scala in Prestatyn, which announced this week that it could close within days if £20,000 is not found to pay staff wages.

Amid concern that a cut in council funding next year could also jeopardise the long-term future of the Scala, general manager Chris Bond has denied that the centre is a “white elephant” and says he aims to run the Scala without depending on grants.

Mike, who premiered the film he made with Sara at the Scala in 2013, said it would be a “tragedy” if the centre closed.

He said: “I’ve always loved going to the Scala as it holds special memories for me. It’s a place where imaginations are nurtured, inspired and developed.

“I played a gig there myself back in 1979, which was a watershed moment in my awakening as a musician.

“The Scala and their team were so helpful to Sara Sugarman and myself when we wanted to see how our film ‘Vinyl’ was looking in the early stages of development.

“The finished film benefitted so much from the production team seeing how it looked on a proper screen.

“The night we held a premiere for ‘Vinyl’ was a very special event, and wouldn’t have happened in the more corporate cinema chains.

“It would be a great shame and a tragedy for Prestatyn if the Scala were to fold.”

Sara said: “I really hope the Scala is kept open. It has been a hub for the community and it welcomed me as a local film maker. The arts are the soul of a nation – don’t let our nation lose its soul. Keep the Scala open!”

Although Mr Bond said the Scala has been “inundated” with support this week, he also answered some of the criticism from local people who said the centre should support itself and not rely on subsidy.

Mr Bond said: “The Scala is not a white elephant and is enjoyed by between 90,000 and 100,000 people a year. The national average of film attendance has dropped by over 10%, but the Scala’s attendances have had a small increase.

“The Scala cannot take too many risks with its programme, but is always trying new things. We are not asking the taxpayer to bail it out. The Scala has one of the smallest grants in Denbighshire for a cultural venue, and no other venue is getting its grant cut by 100%. The Scala is just asking for the same percentage cut as the other venues are receiving. It is the Scala’s aim to run without grants.”

A meeting of the Scala’s board of trustees will be held on Monday to discuss the centre’s future. A public meeting will then be held on Friday at 6pm at a venue which is yet to be decided.

Source (View the original article and videos): Daily Post Article 31.10.14 1641 By Rhodri Barker

Daily Post: Prestatyn residents have their say on Scala future

People give their views on the funding cut threatening the future of the Scala cinema in Prestatyn

The people of Prestatyn have come out in support of Scala cinema after it was revealed it could close in a matter of days.

Earlier this week it was revealed the beleaguered cinema and arts centre could be forced to shut early next week due to a loss of council funding unless tens of thousands of pounds were found.

A desperate Save Our Scala appeal was launched to raise the £97,000 reportedly needed to keep the centre open in the long term with renowned celebrities also calling on the venue to be saved.

The video above shows the support for the centre from people on the high street with one patron calling the potential closure as ‘disgusting’.

Speaking on the video, Robert Guntrip, who has used the cinema for ‘many years’ said:

“I think it would be disgusting (to close the Scala) because if you didn’t have the cinema here people would have to spend more on the buses to go to Rhyl or other places like that.”

Meanwhile Alex Clewett, who visits the cinema regularly with his wife and two daughters said the potential closure would be a “travesty”.

He said: “The facilities are great because they’re pretty new still and the screen and the sound is really good. I think the community need to get more behind it to try and guard against this closure which would be just dreadful.”

Source: Daily Post Article 31.10.14 17:25 by Blake Welton

Rhyl Journal: Fate of Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema still hangs in the balance

THE future of the Prestatyn Scala Cinema and Arts Centre still hangs in the balance.

Prestatyn's Scala Cinema (Credit: Rhyl Journal)
Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema (Credit: Rhyl Journal)

Denbighshire County Council has said the cinema, run by a not-for-profit Trust, has breached its credit agreement after it was revealed it would be late with its wages payment for November.

The Trust has called a public meeting for November 7 with fears the centre could close for good within days.

The possibility of a private operator being brought in has been discussed by the council, according to Trust members.

Rhiannon Hughes, chair of the Scala Trust, said: “The Scala is experiencing cashflow difficulties which have been compounded by an arrangement Denbighshire County Council has agreed with a European funder which involves the Scala but which the Scala was not consulted on.

“If we had been consulted and been part of those discussions we would have pointed out that the arrangement with the two bodies would have worsened the Scala’s cashflow situation and this has proved to be the case.”

A campaign has now been launched by supporters of the Scala in a bid to raise funds to keep the centre open.

Denbighshire Council has announced plans to cut the centre’s £41,000-a-year subsidy as part of £17 million of savings.

However, these cuts would not come into effect until April next year.

A spokesman for Denbighshire Council said: “The current financial situation the Scala finds itself in is immediate as opposed to the proposed budget cuts.

“We have a credit agreement with the Scala, which allows them to be two months in arrears.

“They alerted us to the fact they would most likely be late with the payment for November – this will put them three months in arrears and therefore in breach of the terms of their credit agreement.

“This would be on top of an £86,000 loan the council gave them in 2010, for which we have not asked for repayment to date.

“Clearly that poses an increased risk for the council.

“We do value the contribution the Scala makes and have given as much support and flexibility within our funding constraints as we can, recognising the importance of the facility to the community, but there is a limit to how much we can continue to support an independent organisation and still provide best value for the tax payer.”

Mrs Hughes said the possibility of losing its council subsidy “does not allow for any forward planning and the withdrawal of any flexibility with the payroll”.

She added: “Scala staff, board members and volunteers have all worked tirelessly to protect the town’s investment and deliver what the community planned for the new Scala.

“The Scala has also been very successful in bringing in external funding to help make up for chronic under funding of the Scala since day one and as usual we have a number of grants which have been agreed and are due in the next few weeks.

“The Scala’s performance as a cinema is also exceeding national trends.

“We are already being contacted by many community groups who use the Scala worried about what to do. As you can imagine many people feel quite desperate about the situation the Scala finds itself in as it has become a part of their lives.

“As you can imagine having worked for nine years to get the Scala built and nearly six years building up the business and the Scala’s reputation we will do all in our power to try and keep the Scala trading. If the doors do close and it could be for the sake of a shortfall of a few thousand pounds then all that effort and hard work is lost.”

A location for the meeting has yet to be decided.

Source: Rhyl Journal Article 29.10.14 by Matt Jones


Rhyl Journal: Prestatyn Scala could close its doors on Thursday

Fears have been raised the Prestatyn Scala Cinema and Arts Centre could close its doors on Thursday.

Prestatyn's Scala Cinema (Credit: Rhyl Journal)
Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema (Credit: Rhyl Journal)

A campaign has been launched to secure funding for the cinema, which opened its doors five years ago after Denbighshire Council said it was looking at plans to cuts its £41,000 per year subsidy.

The Journal understands the Scala will not be able to open after Thursday as it cannot guarantee staff wages will be paid next week. However, legal action could be taken to prevent the closure.

In a statement released today (Tuesday) Chris Bond, manager of the Scala, said:

“Please can you help us to raise £97,000 to urgently save our Scala. The Scala has been underfunded since its opening five years ago and is about to lose its funding.

Due to the seriousness of our situation and the imminent risk of closure if financial support is not urgently received, we are launching the SOS campaign, so please support us with any donations however big or small.

The Scala is a charitable Community Arts Centre and a huge part of the local community, offering a widely diverse programme of entertainment. This ranges from Live Events which have included the Royal National Theatre and New Yorks Metropolitan Opera, live community based theatre productions, films from Art House to block-busters for all age groups, including autism friendly screenings, with dedicated films for our senior audience.

The Scala offers educational media and film making and conference facilities to the community, gallery space for local artists as well as social areas to eat, drink and socialise.

Please help our SOS campaign in any way you can, your donation really could help Save Our Scala.”

To donate to the campaign visit https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/donation/to/8569 or make a gift http://www.scalaprestatyn.co.uk/scala-partners.php or directly to the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre, 47 High Street, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, LL19 9AH, please make cheques or postal

orders payable to The Scala Prestatyn Co. Ltd.

Denbighshire Council has been approached for further comment but has so far not responded.

Source: Article from the Rhyl Journal 28.10.14