Rhyl Journal: New leaseholder has spoken about his vision for the cinema

The new leaseholder of a Prestatyn cinema has spoken about taking on a “community asset”.

Prestatyn Scala Cinema sign-age (Credit Rhyl Journal)
Prestatyn Scala Cinema sign-age (Credit Rhyl Journal)

Rob Arthur, aged 46, who runs Aurora Leisure Ltd, said he was aware there was a “high level of expectation”.

He promised to create jobs for people from the area and to hold a public meeting, prior to re-opening the doors of the Scala Cinema and Arts Centre.

Aurora Leisure was revealed as the new leaseholder of the Scala earlier this month.

Mr Arthur, who established the company in 2012, was previously the managing director of Apollo Cinemas, overseeing an estate of 14 cinemas and 83 screens, until its sale in 2012.

In 2012, Mr Arthur – who is married with two children – re-opened and established a digital cinema in Thurso, Scotland to support the development of digital cinema and in mid-2013, he was appointed as interim director of operations at Curzon Cinemas, a London independent and art house cinema group.

The Bathgate-born director said:

“We are holding a public meeting, definitely before we open. It is about listening to the customer and the community. I know there has been a real interest in how this works and when the Scala closed.”

“We want to make it affordable and we would like to keep the live events going. Jobs created will be for local people and we will be making as many as we possibly can. We understand that it is a community asset.”

Mr Arthur added that he hoped to re-open the cinema next month.

“We are saying late April – we want to get it right,” he commented.”

“I know there was a big meeting when people were trying to save the cinema. We would like to see all those people who attended then, at our public meeting. When we are closer to re-opening, a date for the meeting will be announced.”

Source: Rhyl Journal News Article 20.03.15 by Suzanne Jordan

DCC: Curtain set to rise on a bright new era for the Scala

Denbighshire and Prestatyn Town Council are delighted to announce the award winning, Aurora Leisure Ltd, as the new leaseholders of the Scala.

Aurora Leisure Ltd was established in 2012 by Rob Arthur, who has had extensive experience in the UK and International Cinema sector for the past 21 years with companies such as Vue Entertainment, SBC International Cinemas to senior executive and operational management levels.

Rob was Managing Director of Apollo Cinemas, overseeing an estate of 14 cinemas and 83 screens including Rhyl until its sale in 2012, and has extensive cinema opening and operating experience in Taiwan, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom and Ireland as well as many other cinema and leisure development projects.

Denbighshire’s Cabinet Lead Member for Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Huw Jones, said:

“I am really pleased to welcome Aurora Leisure Ltd, under the expert guidance of Rob Arthur, to our county and more specifically to the Scala.”

“The company has a proven track record of turning around the fortunes of struggling community cinemas and providing exactly the community focussed facility we want to see coming here and thriving for the residents of Prestatyn and visitors from further afield.”

Aurora Leisure Ltd has re-opened and established a cinema in Thurso, Scotlands most northerly mainland town after a successful community campaign to support the development of digital cinema. It now screens up to 12 films or events per week from two screens, as well as operating a Bar & Kitchen and regularly hosting conferences and community events. The business currently employs 20 members of staff and has won several awards to date, including Scottish Edge and Screen International Awards.

The intention now is to have the building open by the beginning of April with a view to being fully operational by mid May.

Source: Denbighshire County Council Press Release 5th March 2015

Daily Post: Prestatyn’s Scala cinema set to reopen under new management

Scottish company Aurora Leisure named as preferred bidder to take over cinema, which closed in January after a long battle to try to save it

Prestatyn's Scala Cinema (Credit Daily Post - March 2015)
Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema (Credit Daily Post – March 2015)

A cinema closed in January after a long battle to try to save it is set to reopen under new management.

Denbighshire council has picked a preferred bidder to take over Prestatyn’s Scala, which closed last month amid a cash crisis.

Scottish company Aurora Leisure, which has experience of running community cinemas, could reopen the Scala as soon as April.

James Davies, councillor for Prestatyn East and Conservative candidate for Clwyd West, said: “It’s very good news because the Scala is a much valued community facility and the community, including myself, worked hard to get it built.

“We all know that it can be a success and, with a good business model operating, I’m convinced it will provide the cinema and arts facilities we all want.

“We’re all desperate for it to reopen as soon as possible.

“Aurora Leisure have a network of community cinemas, which is key.”

Rob Arthur, who runs Aurora Leisure and was previously managing director of Apollo Cinemas, has extensive experience in Taiwan, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Cllr Huw Jones, Denbighshire’s cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “I am really pleased to welcome Aurora Leisure Ltd, under the expert guidance of Rob Arthur, to our county and more specifically to the Scala.

“The company has a proven track record of turning around the fortunes of struggling community cinemas, and of providing exactly the community focussed facility we want to see coming here and thriving for the residents of Prestatyn and visitors from further afield.”

Aurora Leisure Ltd reopened a cinema in Thurso – the UK mainland’s most northerly town – after a successful community campaign to support the development of digital cinema.

It runs the cinema as well as conferences, community events, a bar and a kitchen, and has won several awards.

Aurora is also set to reopen one of the UK’s oldest cinemas, the Picture House in Campbelltown, which first opened in 1913.

Source: Daily Post News Article 05.03.15 by Josh Morris

Rhyl Journal: Buyer steps in to save Prestatyn Scala

Prestatyn’s Scala Cinema and Arts Centre has been saved and will re-open in a matter of weeks.

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

Denbighshire County Council confirmed that it is working with a “preferred operator” to take on the venue after the deadline for expressions of Interests closed.

The Scala shut its doors in January after board members agreed to hand back their keys and lease to the council after a last-ditch effort to save the venue failed.

Following the closure, which came shortly after Denbighshire Council said it would end the Scala’s £41,000 grant in April, council bosses said they were seeking serious expressions of interest from experienced operators to open the venue as soon as possible.

It is understood that bosses are now simply sorting through red tape before the name of the new leaseowner is revealed.

A spokesperson from Denbighshire County Council said:

“Our priority remains getting the Scala back up and running as a cinema for the benefit of Prestatyn as quickly as possible and that is what we are working towards.”

Trevor Harris, who was amongst those expressing an interest in the Scala, said he was disappointed after he received a letter last week from the authority stating that his application had been unsuccessful.

The 75-year-old, who has more than 60 years experience in the industry, said he was “shocked and “upset about not being considered and admitted that he had his suspicions as to who the new operator might be.

In a letter written to Denbighshire County Council, which Mr Harris shared with The Journal, the previous owner of Oswestry’s Regal Cinema said: “My son and I thought that the council wanted experienced cinema operators in view of what happened to the Scala.”

Source: Rhyl Journal news article 04.03.15 by Suzanne Jordan