“Down but not out” is the message from supporters of a Prestatyn Cinema which closed its doors last week.
The Scala Cinema and Arts Centre closed last Thursday. Trust members confirmed that the doors will remain shut whilst a final rescue campaign was conducted but hit out at suggestions that the “Scala Trust has ceased trading”.
Fears over the future of the cinema surfaced in October after Denbighshire County Council said it would be looking to end the cinema’s yearly £41,000 subsidy from April.
Further problems surfaced when it was revealed the Scala was late with its November wages payment – putting the cinema three months in arrears.
Rhiannon Hughes, chair of the Scala Trust, said that the cinema was committed to reopening and described the temporary closure as“awfully sad”.
She said: “The trust is still in control of the building. We aim to work with the community to hopefully re-open the Scala in a few weeks time. We hope that the closure will make people more aware that we do need help. Urgent assistance is required. The building has been flooded already with people getting upset – the Scala is a massive part of the community.”
Chris Bond, former general manager of the Scala, commented that the cinema’s long term future looked “very uncertain”.
A few “trusted members of the community” were given a talk and tour round the Scala last Wednesday night prior to the closure, but were not understood to believe that the cinema would be shutting its doors the following day.
Prestatyn residents reacted to the closure of the Cinema on Facebook with many deeming the situation a “terrible shame”.
Lee Howard, of Prestatyn, said: “I must question the operation, I have called and even popped in personally to ask about hiring rooms for a film screening. I never got a call back.”
Cath Jones said:
“How has this happened? It is directly next to a really busy retail park, with free parking, food and cash points.”
“The Scala is the best cinema in the area and needs to be better utilised,” said Liam Curry of Prestatyn whilst Chris Powell Jones added: “Surely the money that is being spent to tart up The Nova would have been better spent on the Scala?”
A spokesperson from Denbighshire County Council said:
“If it turns out that the Scala Board’s final rescue attempt is unsuccessful, we will do our best to find an alternative provider.”
Scala supporters are invited to a meeting at the Beaches Hotel on January, Friday 16, between 7pm and 8.30pm. The meeting is being held to aid with the soon to be launched community campaign.