New Independent Cinema Planned for Unused Newlyn Fishing Warehouse
NEWLYN could have its own art house cinema as part of ambitious plans to convert a disused fish warehouse.
Suzie Sinclair and Alistair Till hope to bring the silver screen back to the fishing town and are set to outline plans for the high-spec digital cinema at an open day next week before submitting formal plans to Cornwall Council.
The art house theatre would make full use of the currently unused Turner's fishing warehouse, and would feature two screens, a bar, café and an entrance hall, while retaining the outside appearance of the traditional building.
The owners explained they are "passionate about film" and, if granted the opportunity to go ahead with the venture, hope to bring people to Newlyn, inspire others to appreciate cinema and create "10 to 15" jobs in the area – giving the local economy a much-needed boost.
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"The cinema industry is growing," said Miss Sinclair. "It's the cheapest night out – it would provide jobs and would be a great thing to do all year round."
Miss Sinclair and her partner have been searching for the right location for six years after moving to Cornwall from London in 2007, and now have bold plans for the would-be Newlyn Filmhouse.
"We aim to turn a night at the cinema into a cutting-edge event and we're keen to make sure the venue has plenty of community input and supports local arts," she explained.
"Newlyn is an ideal place for a new cinema, adding to the many attractions such as the Art Gallery and the annual Fish Festival – next year we hope to mount a programme that will complement this wonderful event.
"We want to continue to liaise with and support local cultural events as much as we can," she added.
The couple plan to submit a formal application following Thursday's meeting, and have expressed a desire to have the Newlyn Filmhouse finished as early as next year in readiness for the summer season.
They are set to host the consultation to invite members of the community to discuss the proposition and express any views they may have.
It will be held at St Peter's Church Hall, The Coombe, Newlyn, between 2pm and 5pm, acting as an open forum and chance to see artist impressions of both the interior and exterior before Cornwall Council makes its decision.
Architect Stefanie Fischer, who spends much of the year in Penzance, of Burrell Foley Fischer Architects, has been brought in to design the refurbishments, also allowing an insight into what the cinema would look like with mock-up images.
Lying opposite The Meadery restaurant, which was home to the old Gaiety cinema in past times, it is not just Miss Sinclair and Mr Till who feel the introduction of a picture house to Newlyn would be a positive move forward.
Henry Garfit, founder and director of the Newlyn School of Art, said of the project: "To have a striking venue like this that operates all year round both as a wonderful cultural resource for the community of west Penwith.
"It will bring in visitors to the area and creating new jobs is fantastic."