Management of Royston Picture Palace to change hands after six years

Royston Picture Palace will be under new management. Picture: Archant

Royston Picture Palace will be under new management. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

Royston’s Picture Palace will be changing management, after being overseen by the Royston First BID for the last six years.

The community cinema, which launched in 2013, was largely modelled around Uttlesford's Saffron Screen - which will now work with Royston volunteers in the management takeover.

A spokesman for Royston First said: "We see moving to management by Saffron Screen - over the next few months - as a key to our strategy of re-introducing and maintaining a cinema in Royston.

"Moving management of the Picture Palace to an experienced, not-for-profit film management company staffed by film professionals and enthusiasts is clearly a step in the right direction.

"With this agreement we are hoping to secure the future of Royston's cinema for many years to come. "Over the last six years, the Royston Picture Palace has established itself as a vital resource for the town, encouraging visitors from the outlying villages as well as the town itself who are looking for a great evening's entertainment."

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The venture was funded jointly by Royston Town Council - which refurbished the town hall to accommodate the cinema - and Royston First, which purchased the digital projection system, Dolby sound equipment, retractable seating and screen.

The cinema has sold up to 11,000 tickets per year and is staffed entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers from the community.

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Currently screenings are mostly on Fridays and Saturdays, with occasional Sundays and matinees - all of which is set to increase under the new management structure.

Established in 2006, Saffron Screen is an award-winning, independent, community cinema which welcomes a audience of 40,000 annually.

The not-for-profit cinema aims to serve the whole community by showing a range of mainstream, arthouse and foreign language films alongside live theatre, ballet, music and opera.

Andrew Jenkins, Saffron Screen's business manager, said; "This is a great opportunity, following the model established by Saffron Screen over 13 years ago, for Royston Picture Palace to grow and present more entertainment to the community. The aim, over the next few months, is to increase the opening hours, screen more films and introducing live relays of theatre and music."

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