Community

Big screen returns to the Coliseum

Ceredigion Museum to install new cinema screen: The Coliseum Theatre is to return after a 40 year absence
Ceredigion Museum to install new cinema screen: The Coliseum Theatre is to return after a 40 year absence

CELEBRATING their success at managing to secure a £13,917 community grant, the Friends of Ceredigion Museum now intend to add a full-sized cinema screen and projector in The Coliseum.

Nearly 40 years after it closed its doors as a cinema, the Coliseum, now home to Ceredigion Museum, is set to become a cinema once again.

The magnificent Coliseum initially opened as a variety theatre in 1905, becoming a cinema in the early 1930s where it was run by Olive and Harry Gale until it was abandoned in 1977.

However, in 1982, it reopened as the Ceredigion Museum, and it currently undergoing a £1.3m Heritage Lottery Funded redevelopment called ‘New Approaches’.

The Community Grant Scheme is awarded by Ceredigion County Council and is aimed at increasing the range of facilities, activities and opportunities within the county.

The grants are available to community groups, community councils, voluntary sports and play associations.

Lionel Madden, Chair of the Friends of Ceredigion Museum, said: “The Friends are delighted to be contributing to the future sustainability of the museum by raising funds to re-equip the auditorium with state-of-the-art technology, facilities for people with hearing impairments and new seating and tables.

“Many of the friends have fond memories of the Coliseum as a cinema and it will be wonderful to experience the magic of the movies in such a beautiful setting once again.”

Re-equipping the historic Grade II listed Coliseum theatre with comfortable seating, modern audio-visual equipment and a hearing loop for hearing aid users will enable them to host bigger and better community and public events in the auditorium in the future.

Carrie Canham, Museum Curator, said: “We’ve been showing films for some time, and they’re always very popular, particularly the silent films, but we have always had to borrow equipment and the screen we were using isn’t very big.

“Now we can do the films we show the justice they deserve and audiences will have a much better experience. “I can’t thank the Friends enough for their hard work in securing the funding, which all adds to the match funding we need for our Heritage Lottery funded project.”

The re-equipping of the Coliseum forms part of the £1.3m ‘New Approaches’ project to secure the future of the museum by creating opportunities to generate income and attracting more visitors.

To mark the occasion, the museum will be showing a silent Charlie Chaplin film called ‘Shoulders Arms’ with a live piano accompaniment by Dr Stephen Briggs, a talented musician and long-time supporter of the museum.

The film is set during World War One and is part of the programme of activities to complement the current exhibition of propaganda posters from that time.

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Dayne Stone

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