Community cinema launched at Wigan culture hub

The magic of the movies is coming to Wigan town centre as a leading local arts hub is launching a new community cinema.

Wednesday, 17th January 2018, 11:06 am
Updated Monday, 22nd January 2018, 2:20 pm
Volunteer Martin Spencer in the cinema at The Old Courts

The Old Courts is branching out into regular film screenings for 2018 in the refurbished upstairs theatre.

The Crawford Street hub has secured funding from Cinema For All as well as Wigan Council’s Deal For Communities and local elected representatives’ Brighter Borough pots to set up the cinema.

Bringing a range of film to Wiganers has been a long-held ambition for the team at The Old Courts and the first season looks set to be diverse with blockbusters and cult favourites already on the schedule.

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The arts centre created in the borough’s old Victorian courthouse has more ambitious plans too, talking about bringing more avant-garde and experimental cinematic adventures to Wigan.

Film buffs themselves will also get a say in what is screened as it will be a community facility, while The Old Courts aims to bring art to all by making entry just £1.

Managing director Dave Jenkins said: “A really key component for the film and media offering to work is the formation of a community-led committee driving it.

“We want to make sure that the offer is right from the off and reflects what our community want to have screened and we have already have interest from people getting involved in the programme and I would ask anyone who would like to be involved to drop us an email as soon as possible.”

Artistic director Jonathan Davenport said: “We are aiming to have a membership style system which continues to be the £1 Cinema Club and we have started listing a few selected films to develop interest.

“We are particularly interested in looking at non-traditional film genres such as arthouse productions, film noir and further developing our already strong silent film evenings which see local musicians improvise accompaniment.

“The non-commercial film sector is a very exciting art form and its history, expanse and impact is going to be interesting to explore over 2018.”

The cinema offerings kick off this week with a screening of James Cameron’s epic Titanic tonight (Wednesday) and Quentin Tarantino breakthrough movie Pulp Fiction on Thursday before continuing next month with LGBT film Children of God.

The cinema has an HD projection and full PA system.

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