Volunteers at Royston Picture Palace have explained the reasoning behind their petition to protect the cinema, which is at risk due to a decline in ticket sales.

According to the petition, the non-profit community cinema is losing its current managing organisation Saffron Screen at the end of the month, and is therefore at risk of closure.

Lynn Ross, a spokeswoman for Royston Picture Palace volunteers, said: "Saffron Screen, which has managed Royston Picture Palace for over three years, is withdrawing due to the slipping sales of cinema viewing particularly since the pandemic and can no longer subsidise us.

"Our last Saffron Screen sponsored film is on May 28. We try not to say 'it's closing', not permanently anyway.

"The petition is a way of getting the public to support the town councillors in finding a solution."


Lynn added: "The Royston Picture Palace is a valuable and well loved asset of the community.

"Cinemas need their audiences to return. Get back into enjoying the habit of going out to see a film on the BIG screen!

"Sit in the dark at the cinema - before we lose cinemas and their unique experience altogether!"

A spokesperson for Saffron Screen said: "Due to the ongoing challenges brought about by COVID and the cost-of-living crisis, Saffron Walden Community Cinema Limited have had to make the very difficult decision to end our management of Royston Picture Palace and at present, our last screening will be on Sunday, May 28. 

"Royston Town Council’s finance committee have set up a working party (which includes members of Royston First BID) in the hope of establishing options to keep Royston Picture Palace open and welcome any expressions of interest for running the cinema.

"We would like to thank everyone in Royston and beyond who has supported the cinema since we took on management of it in 2019 – we have loved welcoming you through our doors.

"And of course, we couldn’t have done it without our wonderful team of staff and volunteers, to whom we are hugely grateful for all of their hard work, dedication and passion. Our sincerest thanks to you all."

To sign the petition go to https://www.change.org/p/save-royston-picture-palace?source_location=search%C2%A0