Southsea Community Cinema and Arts Centre, in Palmerston Road, is holding an open day from midday to 5pm on Thursday, May 19, featuring local performers, music, and screenings.
Formerly a branch of Halifax bank, the building has been converted into a cinema space, as well as having a meeting room with photography and film capabilities, plus a cafe area.
The society was pledged more than £25,000 by its supporters, smashing its target with an online crowdfunding campaign to help pay for the necessary works. They have also been backed by Portsmouth City Council and been awarded Get Set Solent EU YTKO funds.
Director of Portsmouth Film Society, Aysegul Epengin said: ‘After years of painstaking search for a home for Portsmouth Film Society, I naively dropped myself into what now seems like a Herculean task of overseeing the conversion of a dilapidated bank into this beautiful cinema.
‘It is a dream come true.’
University of Portsmouth student Miles Hanmore added: ‘Portsmouth Film Society has been around for 12 years, I've worked just two of those, all across the city gaining valuable experience, even during the lockdown when we moved our youth film making workshop from the classroom to Zoom.
‘Having our own venue is more practical for our customers as well as us. I can't wait to experience it with them.’
The cinema’s organisers have already already announced a diverse range of films for its opening weeks – from blockbusters like Dune, to cult classics including La Haine and Naked, thought-provoking documentaries, and foreign language hits such as the Japanese Best International Film Oscar-winner Drive my Car.
They will also screen two archive films in collaboration with the Wessex Film and Sound Archive. The first, Caught in the Act is a silent crime film from the 1930s made by the Bournemouth Cine Club and Portsmouth Cine Club.
The launch sponsors are PCO Group and Mimi Market in Palmerston Road. Their gold business sponsor is Barbara Tipple Jewellers in Marmion Road.The centre with its cafe will be open daily from 10am-9pm.
Contact the cinema at [email protected] or 07528 808400 to discuss the hiring of the cinema or education/conference room.
For complete listings go to southseacinema.co.uk.