Residents urged to keep using Saffron Screen after audit

PUBLISHED: 08:53 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:53 08 March 2017

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Saffron Walden's independent cinema received an "extremely positive" audit following a visit from an industry expert from the British Film Institute (BFI).

Saffron Screen, a not-for-profit venue which boasts an annual audience of 40,000, was reviewed by the BFI’s Film Audience Network, who aim to help boost film audiences around the country.

The expert’s findings were that the cinema is doing incredibly well given it is working against a backdrop of rising costs, venue limitations, competition and increasing customer expectation.

But residents are being urged to continue to use the cinema so it can remain accessible to all and offer a wide variety of films and live events at reasonable prices.

The cinema, which is now in its 11th year, is looking to further improve its offer to audiences with a regular Friday and Saturday night bar, the replacement of old and worn seats, a £20 matinee family ticket and allocated seating for most screenings.

The cinema also hopes to raise funds for a box office and a website upgrade which will improve the cinema experience for movie-goers.

Paul Ainscough, Saffron Screen chairman, said: “We are aware that we face challenges, particularly due to the restrictions of a shared venue as well as rising costs and competition.

“However, the audit of the cinema, particularly its marketing and programming function, is extremely positive.

“We are doing very well in comparison to some other small cinemas and our staff and volunteers are working extremely hard to bring new films and live events to our audience as soon and as often as they can within the confines of our mainly weekend schedule.

“We hope that residents will continue to use Saffron Screen as often as they can. If everyone came just once more every year, it would make a huge difference to our sustainability and growth.

“Equally, we need the support of local businesses to allow us to flourish and invest in development and marketing.”

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