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Future of Bala cinema under threat

Published date: 17 July 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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BALA is in danger of losing its cinema a public meeting in the town was told.

The cinema at Neuadd Buddug hall is run by Gwynedd County Council.

Members of the public and local councillors attended a public meeting about the cinema on Tuesday evening in the town.

The meeting was told that the equipment to show films was unable to show digital version of films.

 

Most new cinema releases are now only offered as digital versions instead of on traditional film.  

This means that the cinema will be unable to show most new films and may at some point be unable to show any new films.

Visitors to the cinema’s page on the council website are greeted with a message saying: “We would like to apologise on behalf of Neuadd Buddug and Gwynedd Council that the programme does not include popular new films like programmes in the past.

“Unfortunately as Neuadd Buddug has no digital equipment, there are limits on the films that can be screened. It is very difficult to obtain new films on 35mm and some are of poor quality. An application has been submitted to the Arts Council for the digitizing of Neuadd Buddug but unfortunately, the project’s timetable (which includes other theatres / cinemas throughout Wales) means that this is not currently in place. We apologise for any disappointment to our customers.”

Bala councillor, Dilwyn Morgan, hoped that the cinema could be saved until an alternative venue could be found.

He said: "No decision has been made yet. As local councillors we are trying to keep the cinema going, but won't know anything for some time.

"We hope to keep the cinema open until a new one is opened within two to three years at a different location. But nothing can be decided for a while"

Members of the public in Bala expressed concern that they may lose an institution that has been part of their lives for so long.

Tyly Roberts said: “I remember taking my son to the cinema for the first time when he was four. At the end of the film he took me by the hand up to the screen. When I asked him why we weren’t leaving he said ‘we have to turn it off first’. It would be a shame to lose the cinema it’s such a part of the community and is a really homely place.

“Children who go there are so well looked after because staff know each and every one of them. It would be a shame to lose it I hope they don’t close it down.”

Gwyn Sion Ifan who runs the Awen Meirion bookshop in the town said: “It is important for the town that the cinema stays open. I go there regularly and I have been going since I was a child. It is also an important centre for other activities like concerts.”

 

Bala lollypop lady, Nesta Dobson, said: “I don’t want to see it closed as I do go there sometime but when my boys were young they used to go there all the time.”  

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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  1. Posted by: PaperReader1 at 19:52 on 26 July 2014 Report

    This iconic cinema should be saved once and for all from the constant threat of closure. It has become one of the very few art cinemas left, and only when it is lost will people realise that this interesting building at the end of Bala High Street will be sorely missed, by both the Bala community and those of the surrounding area. Surely the sum involved in saving it is small in the grand scheme of things. It needs the Council to have the will, determination and vision to keep it open.

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