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Grant money helps improve rural cinema

PUBLISHED: 16:53 15 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:41 01 August 2010

FILM-lovers in rural south Norfolk will be able to enjoy more regular screenings after grant money enabled a cinema project to take a further step forward.

FILM-lovers in rural south Norfolk will be able to enjoy more regular screenings after grant money enabled a cinema project to take a further step forward.

Geldeston village hall looks set for a more secure future as a film venue after a £4,500 budget enabled organisers to buy a projector, sound system, and chairs.

Organiser Brian Norman said the upgrade opened up the potential of the venue and would make a big difference to the flexibility and frequency of screening films.

He set up Geldeston's screening programme last year which proved popular with villagers and people from the surrounding area, whose nearest cinema is in Norwich.

“It's going to be absolutely amazing,” he said. “At the moment, we are going to Wymondham to collect the equipment and we are having to hire the equipment.

“Not only does it cost a lot less to put on a film using our own equipment but it is so much less hassle.”

After arranging to hire equipment from Creative Arts East Village Screen, the first film to be shown was blockbuster Mamma Mia. Its success was followed by a surprisingly popular screening in March of Morris: A Life With Bells On, which was not on general release but drew the crowds with its quirky English humour.

Since then, screenings have drawn consistent numbers to Geldeston, near Beccles, and in recent months films have been put on every few weeks.

The grant money was made up of £500 from funds from the screenings, £500 from Chet Valley Community Development and £3,500 from Grassroots Grants Fund. It will also enable organisers to stage screenings at weekends, which was traditionally a time when hiring equipment was difficult due to high demand.

Mr Norman said the upgrade enabled DVDs to be projected on to the screen, as well as presentations from laptop computers, adding: “We are rather hoping we are going to get more groups doing more.”

The first film to be screened using the new equipment will be The Vanishing of the Bees, a documentary about the demise of the bee population, on October 28 at 5pm and 7.30pm.

Call Mr Norman on 01502 712364 to book tickets or visit www.geldeston.org for information on forthcoming films.

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