A FORMER picture house owner has offered to help or take on Prestatyn’s Scala cinema if the current trust cannot re-open it.
Trevor Harris, former owner of Oswestry’s Regal Cinema, said he was mindful that trust members were looking to put together a rescue campaign, but explained he was keen to help run the venue or rent the cinema if it became available.
Mr Harris, aged 75, attended the Scala Cinema and Arts Centres open meeting at the Beaches Hotel with his son Anthony Harris last Friday.
The meeting was held to discuss fundraising ideas following the closure of the venue on Thursday, January 8.
Mr Harris, who has 60 years of experience in the cinema trade, said that the meeting was attended by more than 100 people on Friday.
He said that he was given permission by Scala volunteers, hosting the meeting, to speak to the audience and received a standing ovation.
There was a lot of questions and a lot left unanswered – I feel there is something in the wind,” Mr Harris commented.
“The main question was how the hell had the cinema got itself into this financial situation? After I approached those who chaired the meeting and spoke to the audience, the volunteers from the Scala made a plea to me – don’t leave us.”
“I am more than experienced having been in the cinema trade most of my working life. My son, who is aged 46, is the same. I am happy to help in running the venue or to take it off their hands. I’ve written to the council and I’ve had a phone call to say that I should expect a letter in the post. I know films inside and out. I would look at booking Big Hero 6, Shaun the Sheep movie and Fifty Shades of Grey. I would like to have a tour of the building and the chance to speak with Rhiannon Hughes, chair of the Scala Trust. I can sort the Scala out.”
A spokesperson for Denbighshire County Council confirmed that they had received a letter from Mr Harris.
She said: “The council is committed to seeing the cinema up and running again and there is the option to follow up any serious alternative offers in the event that the Scala is unable to continue trading.”
Chair of Scala welcomes pledges
THE chair of the Scala Trust has welcomed pledges of support following a fundraising meeting.
More than a 100 people attended the open gathering at the Beaches Hotel in Prestatyn last Friday to discuss ideas to re-open the Scala Cinema and Art Centre which closed earlier this month.
Rhiannon Hughes, chair of the trust, expressed that she was pleased that people were becoming more aware of the situation. A campaign titled Let’s Get the Doors Open has been softly launched.
Ms Hughes, said: “The Scala is a small charity and yet we had so many people turn out. It is like a steering committee. I was unable to attend as another meeting cropped up regarding finance. I was tempted to re-organise Fridays meeting, but everything was in place.”
“It made sense for the volunteers to host it since it was for the supporters of the Scala, but I will 100 per cent be at the next meeting. We haven’t got a date yet but its in the process of being arranged. The night turned into a discussion and ideas were generated such as sponsor a seat. People have questions and I am doing my best to answer them and putting what information I can on the Scala’s windows and on Facebook.”
Source: Rhyl Journal article 21.01.15 by Suzanne Jordan