North West Wales:
Cellb (Blaenau Ffestiniog)
With their energy bills escalating by 700% in the last quarter, this youth-led venue is getting creative to maintain the modern cinematic entertainment offer that the community knows and loves, at reasonable prices. They are redeveloping their Blaenau Vista Ffilm Club which started in 2014, with specialist Q&A screenings such as Enys Men with a talk on Super 8 film with Clare Marie Bailey (YNYS MON). Welsh made Y Sŵn will also screen on March 10th in celebration of Cellb’s 16th birthday with a Director Q&A with Roger Williams (Gwledd), plus school screening Q&As around the theme of protest with Lecturer Selwyn Williams and local renegade Ceri Cunnington. On April 21st, Mark Jenkinill join the film club to show some shorts from his collection, followed by Super 8 film workshops with young people to celebrate 20 years of Gwallgofiaid – their not for profit social enterprise that provides creative training for the young people of Blaenau Ffestiniog.
The Dragon Theatre (Barmouth)
The theme of the Dragon’s programme this spring is humour. They aim to raise audience spirits during the cost of living crisis. Linking to their live comedy weekend at the end of March, teaser posters will appear around the town with joke competitions online. The Happy Dragon café will be open on Mondays, as part of Gwynedd Council’s warm spaces, providing free tea/coffee, hot lunch and supper. The films will provide afternoon entertainment and build their audience. On Fridays between 10am and 3pm lunch is offered with an afternoon film for older audiences as part of Gwynedd Council’s community food scheme and loneliness and isolation project.
The Magic Lantern (Tywyn)
Launching their ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ £3 offer in March, The Magic Lantern have been listening to their audience feedback that they can’t afford to see all the films they want to. They will have an open day to start an open conversation about what they can do to help, with both young and older audiences feeding back that they feel the pinch. Films such as Blue Jean, A Bunch of Amateurs and shorts on outdoor pursuits will be on offer, with the aim of welcoming audiences regularly in to the venue, supporting the Lantern as they face steep increases in energy costs.
Wyeside Arts Centre (Builth Wells)
At Wyeside Arts Centre in Builth Wells, funds will support the cinema to screen the best new independent films such as Blue Jean, along with anticipated Welsh language feature Y Sŵn. Their Thursday subtitled screenings, relaxed screenings for children with autism and monthly matinees for older age groups aim to welcome audiences from across the local community.
South West Wales:
The Torch (Milford Haven)
In Milford Haven, The Torch have seen increasing operational costs and competition from streaming services. To support their audiences, they have a new, reinvigorated, film guide and an exciting programme of films from India Sweets and Spice to She is Love, Corsage and Enys Men. Midweek matinees and early evening screenings make the film accessible to all ages, particularly for rural audiences travelling by limited public transport. The cinema offers subsidised tickets and meal discounts at their in-house café alongside certain films, plus they have a cinema loyalty card. They are also connecting with the local Milford Haven Pride event organisers and LGBTQIA+ groups to hold a special event around Blue Jean which explores the impacts of the Section 28 legislation.
Theatr Gwaun (Fishguard)
In Pembrokeshire, the cinema is working with its Community Film Panel and Fishguard Film Society, to recover audiences post pandemic, while balancing the financial pressures resulting from inflation. They are leading the way with an exciting programme that puts audiences first. Funds will support their independent cinema screenings from January to April 2023 with films such as South Korean mystery Decision to Leave and West Walian Western The Toll, plus their affordable £3 Saturday Morning Kids Club and POINT Presents initiative in partnership with their local youth centre.
Pontardawe Arts Centre
Pontardawe are keeping their film offer affordable and accessible. Screening between Jan – April audiences can look forward to a special screening of Pride for LGBTQ+ history month, which will include interviews with cast, an introduction to the film and trivia quiz. They can also watch Y Sŵn which will have a Q&A with cast and crew and live translation hosted by Menter Iaith. A host of other UK and international films will be on their big screen, including Hit the Road, Alcarras, Empire of light, A Bunch of Amateurs, Corsage, She worked in a terrified state and The Quiet Girl.
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