Cinema needs help to fix vandalism damage

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The Plaza’s boarded up window © Shelby Hamilton JMU Journalism

A community cinema is trying to raise money for repairs after a vandal smashed one of its windows.

The glass shattered at the Plaza in Waterloo after someone threw a tin of beans through one of its panes.

The cinema has CCTV footage of a bald figure launching the tin from the car park at the side of the building in the early hours of Tuesday morning, leaving one of the windows on the stairwell shattered.

Martin Fol, the manager of the picture house, had to come in on his day off to inspect the damage and make plans for repair. He told JMU Journalism: “I was pretty angry. I was very conscious of it and wanted to get it sorted and make sure the place was safe.”

The Crosby Road cinema, which is run by volunteers, is now trying to raise the £450 that was quoted for the repair. This will cover the replacement of the glass and the use of a cherry picker.

Frank Cottrell-Boyce, screenwriter, novelist and occasional actor, who was at one time a trustee of The Plaza, donated £100 towards the cost. The cinema has also raised some of the cash from the donations of the public, with £290 coming in so far.

YouTube: Shelby Hamilton

Mr Fol said: “We put something on Facebook and have had a massive response from everyone. It’s been very positive. Also, lots of people have said how annoyed and angry they are.”

Originally opened in 1939, The Plaza has been part of the community for decades. More than just a cinema, it also collects for the food bank and provides autism, dementia, and spectrum-friendly screenings.

Responding to the vandalism, frequent cinemagoer, Debbie Owens, 36, of Waterloo, told JMU Journalism: “It’s disgusting that someone would do that. It’s a place where I take my kids. There is no reason for someone to do it.”

Seaforth resident, Shaun Griffith, 19, who has been going to The Plaza since he was a child, said: “It’s bad like when people can’t respect a good thing in the community.”

About Shelby Hamilton, JMU Journalism