Denbigh Visitor: £3.5m Scala revamp is a blockbuster

WALES’ first all-digital cinema is thriving a year after a new curtain was lifted, with 44,434 film tickets being sold.

Saturday marked the first anniversary of the new look £3.5m Scala Cinema and Arts Centre in Prestatyn.

Over the last 12 months, the reborn complex in High Street has impressively shown live productions from around the world via satellite.

The venue now boasts an arts and crafts gallery and gift shop, not to mention a constant stream of award-tipped blockbuster movies shown on high definition digital projection systems.

General manager Chris Bond reflected on the Scala’s success and said the “community hub” is much more than a cinema.

“The Scala is going from strength to strength,” he said.

Mr Bond, who has a prominent theatre-led background, is continuing to lead the cinema into the 21st century.

He added: “We were part of the first interactive satellite link where we could see and speak to a film company and vice versa and have shown live productions from the National Theatre London, Royal Opera London, Les Ballets Russes, Paris and the Met Opera, New York.

Since opening, we have developed an arts and crafts gallery and shop and taken over the running of the café bar, which we’ve renamed Saronie’s after the founder of the Scala.

We now have film quiz nights and open mic evenings and have introduced the Silver Screen for the over 60s, with plenty more in the pipeline.”

Last year, scores of film buffs lined the high street in anticipation of the town’s revamped attraction.

The 109-year-old building, which started life as a town hall, was saved from the scrapheap by passionate community campaigners, calling for it to be restored to its former glory after structural issues forced it to close in 2000.

But people power prevailed and in 2007 its future was safeguarded by what became the Friends of Scala group.

Now it offers two 150-seat auditoria both with high definition equipment, one of which also offers live performance space.

A rooftop media suite kitted out with 20 Apple Mac computers is also available for schools, colleges and training groups to use.

As part of this week’s celebrations, members of the community were invited on a tour of the Scala.

Credit/Source: Article by Kelly Barker, Denbigh Visitor