Saffron Screen: A cinema run by the community, for the community

STAFF, volunteers and cinemagoers alike were delighted to see Saffron Screen featured in the Guardian online’s Film Blog last week, in an article which lavished praise on both the professionalism and community feel of the cinema.

Every week, the Guardian invites a reader to tell them about where they go to the cinema and this time, it was the turn of Arran Poole, a volunteer projectionist at Saffron Screen. Arran outlined the nature of the cinema and its location within the premises of Saffron Walden County High School. He highlighted the variety found in both the clientele - a mix of young and old drawn from the community - and the screening programme, which includes blockbusters, art-house films and a variety of special events such as live broadcasts from the National Theatre.

For Arran, the real strength of Saffron Screen lies in “its community-driven and proudly independent attitude, and in the attention staff give to providing a quality experience to cinemagoers”.

The experience enjoyed by those visiting Saffron Screen is, said Arran, due to the dedicated team of part-time staff and unpaid volunteers, a team that focuses on “quality over quantity”.

He thought that the passion and enthusiasm of Saffron Screen’s staff could not be matched at nearby multiplexes and that this allowed the cinema to “punch well above its has made a truly positive impact on the life and culture of this small Essex town”.

Chairman of Saffron Screen, Rebecca del Tufo, said: “I was so pleased, and grateful to Arran, for this recognition of the vital contribution made by all our staff and volunteers. The team works incredibly hard, often for love rather than money, and they have made the cinema what it is today.”