Picture gallery: Saffron Screen turns five years old

SAFFRON Screen has turned five! Over the weekend, the not-for-profit independent cinema marked the momentous occasion by screening popular films and welcoming staff, volunteers and the public to join them in the celebration.

On Thursday May 19, exactly five years after opening its doors, the cinema hosted a birthday party for staff and volunteers.

Cake and champagne were provided and chairman Rebecca del Tufo, praised all those who have been involved over the years for their time and dedication to the independent cinema and what it provides for the community.

Addressing staff and volunteers she said: “Five years ago, we had no idea how successful the cinema would become.

“Our staff and volunteers both at the cinema and behind the scenes make Saffron Screen the special place it is.

“We have received overwhelming support from the community and I look forward to our long-term digital future.”

Friday night’s screening of The Adjustment Bureau was sponsored by broadband provider TalkTalk. Free tickets were given away as part of a prize draw and the evening was well attended.

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The Societies Showcase at the Town Hall on Saturday was also a great opportunity to include the public in the fifth birthday celebrations. Mayor Cliff Treadwell and mayoress Val Treadwell both stopped by to congratulate the cinema on its success and pick up the latest listing information.

Launched in May 2006, the not-for-profit independent cinema has gone from strength to strength. To date, Saffron Screen has shown 780 films across 1770 screenings and welcomed more than 153,000 customers.

In addition, the cinema has hosted a number of educational events like the Young People’s Film Festival and the 90 Second Film Competition.

Over the past five years, Saffron Screen volunteers at the cinema and behind the scenes have given over 30,000 hours of their time, which is estimated at over �350,000 worth of work.

The cinema is currently supported by 106 volunteers and 18 part-time staff and 40 volunteers have remained with the cinema since 2006.

The first three ‘special events’ begin with the ballet Coppelia streamed live from the Bolshoi Ballet next weekend, followed by Macbeth from the Royal Opera House and The Cherry Orchard from The National Theatre in June.

Tickets are still available for Macbeth on Monday June 13 and can be purchased online saffronscreen.com at the Tourist Information Centre and the cinema box office.