SAFFRON WALDEN: Saffron Screen launches bid to Go Digital

PUBLISHED: 16:35 19 February 2010 | UPDATED: 22:10 31 May 2010

Saffron Screen's technical director Paul Wilmott with the current 35mm projector equipment Picture: DAN BARDEN

Saffron Screen's technical director Paul Wilmott with the current 35mm projector equipment Picture: DAN BARDEN

SAFFRON Screen today (Friday) launched its bid to Go Digital. The not-for-profit independent cinema - which is based at the Saffron Walden County High School - launched a campaign to raise £60,000 for new digital projection equipment. This equipment is

SAFFRON Screen today (Friday) launched its bid to Go Digital.

The not-for-profit independent cinema - which is based at the Saffron Walden County High School - launched a campaign to raise £60,000 for new digital projection equipment.

This equipment is necessary to ensure the future of Saffron Screen and will also provide great benefit to the cinematic experience of Saffron Walden and the surrounding area.

Currently, Saffron Screen shows films via a 35mm projector. In this digital age, movie distributors are 'going' digital with the result being that access to 35mm films will become increasingly more difficult.

Saffron Screen needs to upgrade its projection equipment to guarantee its long-term future.

A digital projector not only ensures that Saffron Screen will continue to bring the community the films they want, but also allows films to be screened in pristine condition and closer to their release date.

Finally, and most excitingly, digital equipment means that Saffron Screen will be able to stream live cultural and sports events into the cinema; events like opera from the Met, ballet from Covent Garden, theatre from the National Theatre, international sporting events, music concerts, comedy and speaker series, plus more. The community cinema will showcase the best events from around the world.

Chairman of Saffron Screen, Rebecca del Tufo, said: "We are excited about our Going Digital campaign.

"Saffron Screen launched on the back of incredible local support less than four years ago and has delivered regular entertainment and educational events with great success.

"Digital equipment is the next important phase in our strategy and we are delighted to welcome everyone to join us at the cinema."

'Going Digital' is a capital investment campaign and all funds received through this campaign will go toward the purchase and maintenance of digital projection equipment. Day-to-day running costs of the cinema are covered by ticket sales.

Funding is being sought from three sources: local businesses, donations from the public, and grants. Corporate sponsorship packages, seat sponsorships, the annual Friends' Scheme and donation forms are available with varying levels of benefits such as free ticket vouchers, corporate logos on screen, free hot drinks and window stickers.

Anyone wishing to support this campaign should visit the cinema, go to our website: www.saffronscreen.com or email: info@saffronscreen.com to receive further information.

- Saffron Screen launched in May 2006 as a registered charity and solely through volunteer efforts. Over 100 volunteers and 18 part-time staff now ensure the operations of the cinema; from programming, HR/accounting and web development to ticket sales, Front-of-House and ushering. This professional cinema boasts a full size screen, cinema seating, Dolby digital surround sound, refreshments and free parking.

To date, Saffron Screen has shown 570 films over 1,300 screenings to a total audience attendance of 112,000 (31,000 people each year). Saffron Screen shows recent blockbusters and award winning films, as well as foreign language, independent and children's films.

The Going Digital fundraising campaign will continue throughout 2010 in the hopes that the digital equipment will be fully operational by Jan 2011. Streaming live events should then be possible by May 2011, which coincides with Saffron Screen's fifth birthday.

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