Successful lift-off for college-based cinema

The former mayor of Gosport, Cllr Lynn Hook, centre, at the grand opening of the cinema
The former mayor of Gosport, Cllr Lynn Hook, centre, at the grand opening of the cinema
From left, mayor of Gosport Linda Batty, Shirley Faichen and her deputy manager Pauline Brazier, who both started 20 years ago with Cllr  Peter Edgar 

Picture: Sarah Standing (170962-5613)

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IT was an idea that took very little time to put together – but staff at St Vincent College are proud to be putting on their very own cinema screenings.

After the only cinema in Gosport was closed down, residents were forced to travel to Portsmouth or Fareham to see the latest films.

It was a full house and we were thrilled that it ended up going so well.

James Taw, St Vincent College

Now, they have the option to go to the Ritz Cinema at St Vincent College in Mill Lane, once a fortnight for a screening.

Taking just one month to set up, the cinema was opened with a screening of Sully, starring Tom Hanks, on Tuesday, May 11, with former Mayor of Gosport Cllr Lynn Hook celebrating the grand opening.

James Taw from St Vincent College explained: ‘We had to make contact with film suppliers and the idea had to be approved by the college, but the hurdles to climb were actually quite simple. In all honesty, it was fairly bizzare how quickly it all came together.’

The opening screening of Sully was a huge success, selling almost 100 tickets – however, as James revealed, it very nearly wasn’t the hit the college was hoping for. James said: ‘A couple of days before the actual screening, we had about 45 tickets sold online; however, we managed to double that with sales on the door.

‘It was a full house and we were thrilled that it ended up going so well. What’s more, most of the people who came along said that they would also come back, so that is really encouraging.’

Looking ahead, the plan for the future is to continue with the scheduled films, before looking to make the screenings more frequent.

James said: ‘From now onwards, we will be going ahead with the five showings that we already have planned out.

‘If we can guarantee that the next five go just as well as the first one did, then we may look at an expansion project of some sort.

‘Hopefully we can start to hold screenings on a weekly basis, as opposed to every fortnight; then again, it all depends on how successful it all is.’

The next screening will be on Thursday, May 25 – with a showing of the film A United Kingdom, starring David Oyelowo.

For more information go to stvincent.ac.uk.