Babylon ARTS charity launches campaign to raise £17,000 to keep Ely Cinema open

PUBLISHED: 15:17 26 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:44 27 March 2019

Claire Somerville and Caroline Cawley from Babylon ARTS launch Save Ely Cinema campaign outside The Maltings which has been the cinemas home for over 20 years.

Claire Somerville and Caroline Cawley from Babylon ARTS launch Save Ely Cinema campaign outside The Maltings which has been the cinemas home for over 20 years.

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A ‘use it or lose it’ campaign to raise £17,000 has been launched to keep Ely Cinema open.

A ?use it or lose it? campaign to raise £17,000 has been launched to keep Ely Cinema open. The small independent cinema has been in The Maltings for over 20 years but arts charity Babylon ARTS. Picture: CAROLINE CRAWLEY.A ?use it or lose it? campaign to raise £17,000 has been launched to keep Ely Cinema open. The small independent cinema has been in The Maltings for over 20 years but arts charity Babylon ARTS. Picture: CAROLINE CRAWLEY.

The small independent cinema has been in The Maltings for over 20 years but arts charity Babylon ARTS - who operate the single screen - can no longer afford to subsidise its operation.

The cinema needs 30 individuals, companies or local groups to pledge £100 each to the cinema fund by June 1.

The money will be used to help pay towards the increased cost of the cinema’s projector warranty and maintenance.

Claire Somerville, chief executive of Babylon ARTS, said: “We need to raise an additional £17,000 over the coming year to ensure the survival of the cinema.

“The High Street and small independent traders have seen some of the toughest trading in the UK for years.

“This, alongside more competition from the out of town national chain, has meant a gradual decline of our audiences.

“Our charity is increasingly having to subsidise the running costs of the cinema over the last two years which is clearly not sustainable in the long term.

“In a few months our board will be facing the difficult decision to close it permanently.

“We know the community value the cinema, it is well loved and we have a loyal audience and fantastic volunteers who value it as a communal space that brings a unique cinema experience to the heart of our local community.

“We need people to come and come more often to our films and live event screenings.

“Once lost, it will be lost forever so please help us to continue operating this valued community asset.”

To pledge or donate money call 01353 616991 or email office@babylonarts.org.uk to find out more about the campaign.

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