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Light House cinema: Reopening on hold until funding support clear

By Megan Archer | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

Bosses at Wolverhampton's Light House cinema say they have no plans to reopen until they receive more information from the Government on its £1.5bn support package for the arts.

The Light House, based in the former Chubb Locks factory, has been closed since the March lockdown was announced

The Fryer Street-based independent cinema has been closed since lockdown began in March – but chiefs are holding off on announcing a reopening date.

CEO of Light House Kelly Jeffs said it wasn't as simple as just "opening the doors again" yet they remained "cautiously optimistic".

She said: "It was a much welcomed announcement from the Government after all the strong proactive lobbying from the sector happening in the background over the last couple of months. At this point, Light House remains at a standing start awaiting further financial decisions before we can actively begin re-opening plans.

"I am cautiously optimistic but there are a lot of layered and complicated aspects to Light House that have to be considered.

"We can't just open the doors again, switch on the projector and away we go – we have art exhibitions, events, conferences, workshops, dozens of health and well being community groups, music events, charity fundraisers and alternative content to think about.

"It is a sum of all parts for us and our activities that generate income streams all have to work together to help our business go on."

No plans for the Light House to reopen yet

A campaign, Save Light House, was started up last year in a bid to help the struggling cinema – which is a lifeline base for many community groups – after it lost a crucial funding source.

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And the coronavirus pandemic has also hit the venue hard financially. Last month it received a resilience grant from the British Film Institute and National Lottery, to help during lockdown.

Kelly added: "I continue to have an overwhelming craving for clarity to share with my team and audiences but without certainties, the frustration remains. Hopefully we will know more in the next couple of weeks when the finer detail of funding criteria and processes have been ironed out by the relevant bodies so we can make better and more timely planning decisions."

Light House is also encouraging people who might otherwise be planning to visit the cinema to consider purchasing a ‘virtual ticket’ – donating the cost of a cinema ticket to their charity.

This can be done through their website www.light-house.co.uk or by visiting www.localgiving.org and searching for Light House Media Centre.

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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