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Ritz cinema project begins crowd funding for revamp

The Ritz cinema project is now crowd funding to raise £30,000 to go towards finishing the first part of the restoration.

People can buy a brick or a seat in the cinema, original posters and cards and other merchandise, with the proceeds going towards work for the project.

As previously reported, the initial budget for the project has been used up last year to remove unsafe asbestos found in the building after work started.

In pictures: See inside the Ritz regeneration project one year on

Now, non-profit organisation Off The Bench is looking to raise a total of £100,000 to bring their idea to life.

When raised, the first batch of £30,000 will go towards finishing the interior rooms and lobby for the High Street cinema. It will not cover the projection and audio equipment though.

Pete Genders, Off The Bench chief executive, said: “If we manage to raise this £30,000 it will be enough to finish the interior rooms, lobby, new bar area, design and media labs for schools groups and kids clubs, as well as plastering throughout and decorating the main auditorium — the only thing it will not cover is the audio visual equipment and cinema screen.

“But, what it will do is enable us to open the venue as a finished venue and run a full varied programme of live acts, concerts and plays which we intend to run for six months to raise the funding required to install both a 35mm reel-to-reel projector and a digital projector, sound equipment and large screen.

“I’m really optimistic for the crowd funding campaign, one thing I have learnt over the last year is I can’t complete this project on my own, and there is so much love and support for the building. People want to volunteer and help and this is a great way for them to get involved,” Pete Genders added.

The crowd funding campaign began over the weekend, and raised almost £230 from 19 funders at the time of writing. It aims to raise £30,000 by February 11.

Visit the Ritz cinema crowd funding page at IndieGoGo →