Rhyl Journal: Scala Ready for the Show

It’s lights, camera, action for Prestatyn’s newest attraction after eight years of rows, delays and funding problems.

The new Scala cinema and arts centre finally premieres on Friday, February 13 with a stellar line-up of Oscar-tipped blockbuster movies.

Its opening brings to an end eight years of strife since the closure of the much-loved venue and heralds a victory for campaigners and its champion councillor and former Denbighshire County Council Leader Rhiannon Hughes.

She said: “It has been the hardest fight I’ve ever had.”

Cllr Hughes pledged to campaigners that she would work to develop a new Scala after its closure in 2001

“I remember there being 300 people in The Nova and I almost made a promise that we would do it. I always saw The Scala as a regeneration project for Prestatyn High Street.”

Cllr Hughes praised the role of council officers and the community during the past eight years with many establishing campaign groups, joining working groups and now making up the many volunteers who will staff the centre.

“It has been local people showing their commitment to the town. And from day one everyone has worked together. Some people have put their neck on the line for this.

“I’m so pleased that we now have a state-of-the-art centre that has been designed by the community and is now owned by the community.”

The Scala features two 150 seat cinemas, with retractable seating, pioneering digital projection unit, media education centre for would-be filmmakers and cafe bar.

As well as being home to the latest blockbuster movies, The Scala will showcase live theatre and, thanks to its digital projector, be able to screen live events from Wales Millennium Centre and sporting events including rugby and boxing.

Sandra Pitt, chairwoman of Friends of the Scala campaign group, which along with preserving the memory of the old Scala has worked hard to keep dreams of The new Scala alive, said:

“The people of the town, backed by the town council have fought long and hard for this fantastic new venue.

“At last we have a place where we can meet up with friends have a drink and watch a film, and all in an up-to-date venue,what more could you ask for, a really good night out.

The youngsters can use their pocket money and watch a film instead of having to hang around the streets in the cold.

We should not forget the fact that we are a seaside resort, and hopefully the weather will be better this year, but no doubt we will have rainy days.

Now there will be somewhere to entertain the families that are staying here. It’s a long hard winter for our shops, and hopefully they will gain by a new influx of people coming into the town, and also encourage new businesses into our friendly popular little town.”

We must not forget the users of the old Scala, people like the local theatre groups, eg TIC, church and schools, they will be in a position to take advantage of our new Scala.”

Source: Rhyl Journal News Article published 04.02.2009