Rhyl Journal: A glimpse behind the scenes at Scala

THE wait is over for Prestatyn with the opening of the new look Scala Cinema and Arts Centre.

The Journal was given a backstage tour of the £3.5m arts mecca which opens this Friday and promises to bring not only popular and independent cinema to the Prestatyn but live theatre, streamed events, and music.

General Manager Chris Bond:

“It is an absolutely amazing facility. From the front you see this small building and it isn’t until you come inside that you realise it opens out.” The new building features a large reception/box office area with tourist information point, one 160 seat cinema auditorium, one adaptable cinema/theatre auditorium, dressing room/green area, licensed cafe bar, two dedicated meeting rooms, one impromptu meeting area, plus multi-media rooftop education facility.

It’s a major achievement on the part of the architects/ designers (London-based architects and urban designers Burrell Foley Fischer LLP)to get not only one screen but two plus a generous-sized cafe bar on the same space occupied by the old Scala site.,” explained interim general manager Peter McDermott.

The state of the art building replaces the original Scala, opened during 1913, and eventually forced to close in December 2000, due to the high cost of repairs needed. After years of wrangles and delays and after a concerted effort by campaigners construction of the new Scala began on February 2007.

The hope is that the new Scala will help regeneration and attract tourists to the resort town. But for its new General Manager the building with its contemporary styling and city vibe is simply: “a special place for the community”.

Mr Bond, who describes himself as being involved with the theatre “all his life” including serving with the RSC, Repertory Theatre as well as in television with Granada and the BBC, said: “I see it as being a real community venue. It is a really diverse space. We have a wonderful cinema, plus a cinema and live theatre space, plus an amazing cafe bar where local people can meet and chat.

Mr Bond revealed his plans for the venue and hinted at what events the new look Scala could soon become synonymous with. “We need to make sure we always have something on that appeals to the people of Prestatyn. “As well as modern popular films we hope to bring Welsh language films, classic movies, live theatre, jazz nights and band evenings. Anything and everything. We need to make sure that we have something for everyone.”

Source: Rhyl Journal – Published Date: 11 February 2009