Plans have been unveiled to save Aberdeen’s historic Belmont Cinema after its sudden closure last year.
The city’s only independent filmhouse closed suddenly last October after operators went into administration, with the loss of 20 jobs – sparking a huge campaign to save the venue.
Now Belmont Community Cinema, the recently formed charity in charge of its future, has launched a £2m fundraising campaign to reopen its doors by next autumn.
The local authority who own the venue put its future in the hands of the community group.
Campaigner Jacob Campbell told STV News: “The vision is that for the first time Aberdeen will have a truly independent not for profit cinema.
“You know having a good film offering is key to this, but also providing education opportunities for people and making sure there is a good customer experience to really bring people back in and make it an attractive destination venue in the city centre.
“We are blown away by everyone’s support. We have kept the community at the forefront and have kept everyone’s best interests at heart.”
The charity hopes to run the film house as a sustainable independent enterprise .
Its plans include refurbishing the building to make it a more attractive and accessible space for the wider community.
The group has set an ambitious £2m fundraising target to turn its dream into a reality.
Jacob said: “At the moment we are talking to grant bodies, to philanthropists and trying to get initial sponsorship and investment into the project.
“Then we will go out to the wider community and launch our crowdfunding campaign.
“A big task – and we are not delusional to the challenges which are going to be ahead of us. But we need to do it because Aberdeen deserves to have its little independent cinema back open, educating and inspiring people for future generations.”
Campaigners said they will formally launch their huge fundraising campaign in the next few months, with the hope of restoration work beginning in the spring.
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