Saffron Screen ready to reopen, boosted by support grants

Saffron Screen shows a Welcome Back message on screen for customers

Saffron Screen shows a Welcome Back message on screen for customers - Credit: Celia Bartlett

Saffron Screen is looking forward to reopening on May 21, pending Government confirmation it can do so on Monday, May 10.

The not-for-profit independent community cinema was boosted by support during the Covid pandemic.

In total, the venue received £53,066, with £6,921 for a health and safety award, a business sustainability award of £39,175, and £6,970 through a Round Two award from Government.

The second round funding noted that Saffron Screen offers a diverse programme of films with a particular specialism in LGBTQI+ titles and has a watch-at-home platform.

Royston Picture Palace in Hertfordshire, which is run by the same operator, also got the same money in round two funding of £6,970. 

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Jenny Hemsley, Saffron Screen’s Business Manager, said: “We were delighted that our application for additional funding from the BFI and DCMS Culture Recovery Fund was successful as it allows us to reopen much sooner than we would otherwise have been able to.

"The safety and comfort of all our customers, staff and volunteers remains our priority and this vital financial support means we can look forward to welcoming everybody back to enjoy the big screen experience again in the safest way possible.”

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During the Covid pandemic many businesses including the cinema were in Tier 4 and were forced to close to the public. 

During lockdown, a reduced cinema staff worked hard to support the community via online film courses, film clubs and virtual cinema so film fans could watch releases from their own homes.

They will continue the virtual cinema programme after reopening, as they have recognised that not everyone will be able to return to the cinema immediately.

The reopening programme is packed with award-winning films.

Saffron Screen has reopened, with coronavirus measures in place. Picture: Celia Bartlett

Temperature checks at Saffron Screen - Credit: Celia Bartlett

There will also be a full range of Covid-19 safety measures in place. These include socially distanced seating, mandatory face masks, temperature checks for staff and customers, a one-way system and thorough and regular cleaning between screenings. 

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday May 11. Tickets will only be available to purchase in advance either online at or through Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

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