Community Articles

Building Work at Cinema Now Underway
The campaign to reopen Wotton-under-Edge's cinema has passed a significant milestone after builders began a major refurbishment programme inside the historic building.

Over the past two-and-a-half years, campaigners have raised more than £120,000 to create a modern digital cinema in the Market Street premises.

Electric Picture House

Campaigner Alex Alliston-Greiner said: "We're delighted that the builders are now in. The fact that we have reached this stage is a tribute to the support and generosity of many people in Wotton and the surrounding areas. I'm delighted to be able to say that we are now on schedule to reopen the cinema in the autumn."

The privately run cinema closed unexpectedly in the autumn of 2002. The community campaign set up to work towards reopening it soon concluded that it would need to be thoroughly refurbished and modernised. It also gave the cinema a new name: the Electric Picture House.

Over the coming months, improvements in the cinema will include: An all-new screen, digital projection equipment and sound system New luxurious cinema seats Improved toilet and box office facilities An air-conditioning and fresh air system Disabled access for public and staff An attractive new interior design.

Alex, who chairs Wotton Electric Picture House Limited (the co-operative set up to run the cinema once it reopens) said: "We've got a great, hard-working team, but we do need more people to lend their experience and enthusiasm in the final stages of this project. In particular we have a vacancy for a Company Secretary to take responsibility for the conduct of the co-operative and attend our committee meetings. It's a voluntary post that would particularly suit someone with business experience."

In addition to the Company Secretary, an army of volunteers will be needed once the cinema is up and running to assist with ticket sales, food and drink sales, ushering and running the films.

Anyone interested in offering their time and skills to the project should contact Alex on 01453 842849 or

Alex added: "We're determined to ensure that the new cinema really will be a first-rate facility for the community. That means doing the refurbishment properly and buying the right equipment - all of which is expensive. The electrical work alone is expected to come to around £14,000, for example.

"We are carrying out more refurbishment tasks than originally planned so as to avoid further costs and disruption in the future. In total, we will probably still need to raise another £20,000, so I'm appealing to local people to continue supporting our fund-raising events over the next few months. We will be having an Open Day in July, once the builders have finished, when we will be highlighting opportunities for further sponsorship and support."

"The campaign to bring cinema back to Wotton has been a long and complicated project, but the good news is that we are almost there!"

Press Release Issued by Wotton Electric Picture House Ltd

MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Alliston-Greiner on 01453 842849

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