Have your say on the future of cinema in Royston

PUBLISHED: 18:45 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:06 11 May 2010

ROYSTON TOWN HALL

ROYSTON TOWN HALL

THE decision on where Royston should have its own community cinema could lie in the hands of the town's residents. In a meeting on Monday evening, Royston Town Council agreed to send a survey out in the form of questionnaire to gauge residents' views on w

THE decision on where Royston should have its own community cinema could lie in the hands of the town's residents.

In a meeting on Monday evening, Royston Town Council agreed to send a survey out in the form of questionnaire to gauge residents' views on whether a new cinema should be housed in Royston Town Hall.

A community cinema, which would cost in the region of £100,000, could be in place by 2011 and would be undertaken by the Royston First Business Improvement District scheme, which collects money from businesses in Royston to invest in projects to improve the town.

Speaking about Monday's decision to ask residents, town clerk Susan Thornton-Björk said: "We're hoping to put a half-page questionnaire in The Crow next week and what we are looking for is whether people would use the cinema if it was located in the town hall.

"A lot of work obviously needs to be done to get the venue right, and there are lots of considerations to be made first before we know whether or not it will happen, and it won't be an immediate thing, but we want to find out what people think."

Royston town centre manager Geraint Burnell agrees that a lot of work needs to be done to get the building up and running as a cinema, but said a trip to a similar initiative a few weeks ago has given the people behind the initiative ideas.

Mr Burnell said: "We did a familiarisation trip for a number of stakeholders including town councillors, visiting the Saffron Screen in Saffron Walden a while back, and that gave us some ideas and things to think about, should the cinema come to Royston Town Hall. It's quite a complex issue to re-purpose the town hall and to make it structurally sound to house a cinema, as we have to ask ourselves what will be needed to make it fit for purpose, how much would it cost, and if there is the money to do it.

"We need seating, the floor has to be sufficiently strong enough, we need a projection room, and we need disabled access.

"The town hall is underused, it's in a perfect location, and it lends itself to a cinema-type project.

"By rumour, everyone seems to want a cinema, but these are early days.

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