Express & Star

Struggling cinema Light House celebrates record-breaking ticket sales

An independent cinema on the brink of closure has just celebrated its most successful month of ticket sales in almost 30 years.

Kelly Jeffs (CEO of the Lighthouse) serves customers at the cinema

Staff at Wolverhampton's Light House said they were overjoyed to discover that January saw a record-number of tickets sold, with an increase of more than 100 per cent compared to the same month last year.

It is the highest figure in the cinema's 28 year history.

CEO Kelly Jeffs has put the success down to a variety of high-quality and popular films on offer throughout the month, but urges locals to remember that the battle to save the Light House is 'not over yet'.

Kelly said: "It's fabulous. We came back from the Christmas shut down and went straight into long queues and high ticket sales.

"We have had such a good quality of films so it was sort of inevitable it was going to be busy. We've had Mary Poppins and we've got Bohemian Rhapsody coming back too. We're really proud to be screening them. It's created a phenomenal month. We're really pleased.

But Kelly said that the fight to save Light House, based in The Chubb Buildings, is far from finished and that the recent successful month was a great boost to helping keep the cinema open.

Senior staff made an urgent plea last year for more support from locals and businesses, after a vital council subsidy worth £73,000 was pulled. A #SaveLightHouse appeal was launched in a bid to prevent the iconic city centre venue from closing down.

Kelly added: "We're still in quite a bleak position in terms of deficit but this has improved our position. Fingers crossed it keeps going.

"Of course, film ticket sales will never fill the gap, we need other income streams but we've got so much coming up. There's a lot of high profile stuff happening over the coming months, such as Deaf Fest, a fantastic Ted X talk, and we'll be making a big announcement imminently about an exhibition in August.

"We're really happy with how things are going. It's all really positive. But we would encourage the community to keep supporting us, and not forget we are here, so we can carry on opening."

Coinciding with film ticket sales, January saw takings at the cinema's cafe bar Lock Works also at a record high.

Reporting to trustees this week, cinema and operations manager Jas Kapur said: "Audiences are choosing Light House not just because of the current films, but because of its welcome and community feel. They enjoy seeing an exhibition by local artists before a film and enjoy taking a glass of wine in with them. If we could keep admissions like this each month, we would be able to feel confident about our future here in the city."