Blockbuster start to 2014 for Royston Picture Palace community cinema

Royston Picture Palace Royston Picture Palace

Friday, March 14, 2014
9:12 AM

Royston’s community cinema is celebrating a blockbuster start to 2014, and organisers are calling for more volunteers to join the team.

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The Royston Picture Palace community cinema, located at Royston town hall, has had 10 sell-out performances since the turn of the year, with the likes of Judy Dench film Philomena proving to be popular with cinema-goers in Crow country.

In January, monthly attendance figures at the Picture Palace topped 1,000 for the first time since its opening last April.

The Picture Palace is jointly funded by the Royston First business improvement district company and Royston Town Council.

Geraint Burnell, Royston’s town centre manager, said: “We think our numbers are improving due to the growing awareness of the cinema; the increasing reputation the Picture Palace has as a state-of-the-art venue; and the quality of films available during the film awards season.

“For instance, Philomena sold out twice in December and again when we brought it back in January. We have 12 Years a Slave, winner of Best Picture at the Academy Awards, showing twice this weekend but it was sold out before the results were announced. We could have sold The Butler twice over but we simply don’t have the resources to add performances, and we apologise to anyone who was unable to get tickets.”

Mr Burnell added: “As it is, we can only run the programme we do thanks to the efforts of our technical manager Simon Mortimer, our dedicated team of volunteers, and the support of staff at the library, who sell tickets, and the town hall.

“We have no less than six teams of up to six volunteers, each headed by a volunteer performance manager.

“Even with the current schedule we need additional recruits to keep things going and more help will be needed if we are to expand to meet demand.”

You can register your interest in volunteering on the Picture Palace website www.roystonpicturepalace.org.uk

Mr Burnell gave an update on the Picture Palace, and other Royston First projects, at the annual town meeting last night (Thursday) at Royston Town Hall.

Those in attendance were also able to hear from Royston’s neighbourhood sergeant Steve Oliphant, and have their say on Royston Town Council’s plans to buy Market Hill.

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