Ambitious owners want Longridge's Palace Cinema to become more than just a movie theatre

Lara acquired the cinema towards the end of 2017.
Lara acquired the cinema towards the end of 2017.
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Longridge’s premier silver screen venue is aiming to return bigger and better than ever by opening up its doors to more than just film and popcorn enthusiasts.

The Palace Cinema, in Market Place, is re-opening this spring after being taken over by local resident Lara Hewitt towards the end of last year. It was put on the market for £300,000 in August 2017.

Work is currently ongoing at the cinema to make it bigger and better than it has ever been.

Work is currently ongoing at the cinema to make it bigger and better than it has ever been.

And the team behind the cinema’s current renovation job are aiming to make the town landmark more than just a cinema, turning it into a ‘cultural point of reference’ within the market town.

READ MORE: Historic Palace Cinema is set to wow Longridge once again

Cinema House Manager, Patricia Ovin, said: “Although conserving the charm of its traditional features, we are aiming to bring a fresh approach to the venue and create a cultural point of reference within the village.

“We hope to involve the community in film discussions; workshops; art exhibitions; book readings and much more.”

Palace Cinema owner Lara Hewitt with cinema dog Bruce.

Palace Cinema owner Lara Hewitt with cinema dog Bruce.

Patricia added: “Everything is still just an idea at this stage but we want to be a place that offers thing that you find in Manchester, Liverpool, Preston.”

Plans for a cinema book club have been launched, which could focus on reading books and watching the film adaptations over a cup of tea or a class of wine at the cinema.

In January, new owner Lara – who recently moved back to Longridge after six years teaching drama in Germany and Sri Lanka – spoke to the News about her excitement over the project and her hopes to bring a film festival to the town as well as involving local artists in decorating the cinema’s interior.

Patricia said that the cinema will be collaborating with the art and cultural aspects of the town, such as Create Longridge.

Workshops are also set to be offered for youngsters aged from 12 over the summer and holidays, where they will be shown how to better their film experience through filming, editing film, and going through the whole filming process.

“It will be great for people that want to pursue a career in film,” said Patricia.

“They will have an understand of the whole process and understand the different jobs on offer within the industry.

“There’s so much more than behind just the directors.”

The initial opening of the Palace Cinema was this month but has been delayed as a result of extra work to the building and weather delays as a result of the Beast from the East.