Community cinema to open in Leigh Park

Left to right, Andrew Wiseman, Community Centre Manager Leah Moore, Dan Moore and Kev Conroy set up the new area for the first time ''Picture by: Malcolm Wells (180430-6321)
Left to right, Andrew Wiseman, Community Centre Manager Leah Moore, Dan Moore and Kev Conroy set up the new area for the first time ''Picture by: Malcolm Wells (180430-6321)
Alan Mak MP with Park Community School headteacher Chris Anders at the Tes Awards parliamentary reception

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AFTER years of hearing the fond memories of an old cinema, a community centre is bringing back its big screen thanks to a funding boost.

The opening of Leigh Park Community Centre’s Community Cinema will take place this month, as staff and the trust running the centre aim to recreate the experience shared by many at the centre’s old film club.

Community First has purchased high-quality cinema equipment, including a big screen and a digital projector, to offer affordable film events to locals.

Leah Moore has been the centre’s coordinator for three years and said memories of the old cinema, thought to have run from the 60s to the 80s, are mentioned constantly by locals.

‘Myself and my colleagues constantly hear people talking about the old cinema and recreating what the centre used to have is something we’ve all wanted to do for a long time,’ said Leah.

‘Leigh Park is a massively deprived area so we want to be able to offer affordable things to do. The cinema will be in our main hall with a digital projector and a big screen.’

The cinema will be opened at 1.30pm on Wednesday, May 30, by the new Mayor of Havant, Councillor Peter Wade – with refreshments until 2.30pm and the inaugural film showing at 2.45pm.

Tim Houghton, chief executive of Community First, said: ‘We listened to what residents told us they would like from their community centre, and we hope this brilliant new cinema will bring people and families together to enjoy film and have a great time.

‘We are very grateful to the local trust that has made this possible, and the businesses that have supported us.’

Licencing restrictions mean the name of the film being shown cannot be commercially advertised, but the film features a forgetful fish searching for her family. Tickets are £4 and are available from the centre.