Cinema’s focus on flashback fundraising

Share Button

The main screen in the cinema has been kept close to how it originally looked in 1939. Pic © Suzy Sankey JMU Journalism

A cinema is trying to turn back the clock to the days before World War II in a bid to bring back it back to its former glory..

Staff at The Plaza in Waterloo near Crosby are raising money to complete restoration of the original 1939 walls of the building.

The cinema is a volunteer-run, registered charity, which is covering the full cost of the work, which will be finished by the end of October, purely through fundraising.

Manager Martin Foy, from Seaforth, is passionate about finding fun and creative ways to increase takings.

Mr Foy told JMU Journalism: “We rely heavily on the sales at the kiosk, because our ticket prices are so low, but we’re constantly raising money.

“You can pay £25 to have a message on the front of the building for a day. That’s made over £5,000 for us. We sell off the film posters and cut outs after we’ve shown the films too.”

Youtube: Floorscan Acoustics

Unlike a lot of larger cinema chains, he says The Plaza aims to not just provide something for locals to do at a low cost, but also to build a sense of community in the Crosby area, working closely together with other local non-profit organisations.

Mr Foy added: “We always have local groups in. We do special autism screenings, as well as opening especially just for youth groups and schools. We help raise money for other charities too, like St Joseph’s hospice in Thornton.”

The Plaza relies heavily on sales of food and drink at the kiosk as ticket prices are kept low. Pic © Suzy Sankey JMU Journalism

Martin is also enthusiastic about giving something back to the local community by means of a food bank which is collected in the foyer. He said: “I’m asking everyone who comes to see Star Wars at Christmas to bring just one item if they come to watch the film.”

The building has been maintained to stay close to its original 1939 style, which is one of the reasons Martin believes it is so successful.

“People want to come here over a big IMAX cinema because you get the full experience. The original floors, the classic style seats, it’s not like going to The Odeon,” he said.

The cinema has received money from the European Regional Level Funding in the past, however no grants have been given for the current work.

About Suzy Sankey, JMU Journalism