Express & Star

Wolverhampton's much-loved Light House Cinema 'to close doors for final time today'

Wolverhampton's much-loved Light House Cinema will close for the final time later today after more than 30 years of trading, according to a post shared by the venue's official Twitter page.

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The Light House Cinema is based in the Chubb buildings in Wolverhampton

The news comes after a staff member made the announcement on social media and all shows after today have been removed from the venue's website.

The popular venue, a charity based in the Chubb Buildings in the city centre, has been there since 1991 but has faced a battle to keep going in recent years.

It was on the brink of closure in 2018 but managed to keep going after a plea to members of the public – and it managed to bounce back after Covid-19.

But now the curtain is set to fall on the Light House for the final time as it ceases trading on Thursday – unless someone comes forward to help save it.

Staff member Darryl Griffiths announced the impending closure of the venue on social media – describing it as "the most devastating week professionally".

The venue's official Twitter page retweeted his post.

He said: "Our beloved Light House Wolverhampton will cease trading. For a venue that has been remarkably resilient amidst many a challenge, never did we think it would finally come to this.

"For me personally. This has been seven and a half years of my life, with the last four months transitioning into marketing. I have ate, drank and slept this place from pretty much the word go.

"It has been my home better than home. With a chosen family that has got me through the absolute worst of what life could throw at you, whilst granting me the space to get comfortable and simply be my authentic queer self. For that. No mere words of mine live up to what that has meant.

"Now let's talk about what the city of Wolverhampton is about to lose bar (an) 11th hour intervention. I think of the glorious All Hands On Decks vinyl nights. I think of the biannual Deaffest.

"Premieres celebrating local LGBTQ+ filmmaking. MUSOS Open Mic Nights. Wolverhampton Film Festival. Proud host of a BBC New Comedy Awards heat. The community groups aplenty that gather, where they or us staff could be the only people they see that week, in the midst of a warm space agenda. The fact I'm even having to type that out is a gross indictment on the country as a whole. And that's without factoring in the standard programming.

"The personal pain of this is hefty. But this goes far beyond one person. This is about the creative ecology of the city and the Midlands. Look at what's happening with the university. Look at the recent situation in Edinburgh. Now us. How many more warning shots do we have to fire, before those that are in a position of power or who can lobby take our pleas seriously about the importance of the arts?"

Mr Griffiths added it all will likely be in vain as he launched a "hearty final plea" in the hope it can be saved, adding: "I truly believe we've been sitting on a goldmine with so much potential. Otherwise i wouldn't have fought so hard day in day out for it for this long.

"Look at what we've achieved on a shoestring. Envisage the goodness that could be created with proper backing. We're under no illusions. Fresh impetus is needed at the top. This really is now or never.

"Now is the time to engage. Now is the time to make noise. Do not let such an asset crumble. The weight of regret will be heavy once those doors are slammed shut."

The Light House was on the brink of closure in 2018. Subsequent appeals saved the venue, which has two cinema screens, two galleries, a cafe bar and indoor courtyard, and helped it later recover from the impact of the pandemic.