Gosport cinema ‘has to be sustainable’ says director

Lee Hockaday, commercial director at St Vincent College, Gosport
Lee Hockaday, commercial director at St Vincent College, Gosport
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THE future of Gosport’s last remaining cinema remains uncertain, according to the organisers.

The Ritz Cinema at St Vincent College has been open for almost a year, and despite seeing steady progress, the staff behind it say they need more people coming through the doors.

According to those behind the cinema, screenings tend to see around 30 people coming in each time.

For the cinema to remain a sustainable project, staff say that this number needs to double.

Commercial director at St Vincent College, Lee Hockaday said: ‘We are currently in our third season of screenings at the cinema.

‘Things have been going fairly well and the response has been positive, but now we need to make the project sustainable.

‘We have had some screenings that were immensely popular, such as our showing of Dunkirk where we had someone from the naval museum come in to do a talk beforehand.

‘But other times we have had screenings where only a handful of people show up. It is about getting a consistent stream of people in through the doors.’

Lee says that the next 12 months are crucial to help determine the future of the cinema: ‘Over the course of the next year or so we want to get the word out there.

‘We are trying to run this as a community project – so the films are tailored to the people who come through the door.

‘We are also able to do some different things with it, like showing films with a Gosport connection, which commercial cinemas may struggle with.

‘For a lot of local people this is the only way they can go and watch films – so it would be a shame to lose it.

‘I would say that it is safe for the time being, but we are really hoping that it grows even further over the coming months.’