The Castle Cinema has seen numerous changes, and been many things to many people, since it was first built more than 100 years ago...
The Castle Electric Theatre opened on 8th September 1913 as an independent single-screen cinema. Total seating was provided for 619 in stalls and a small balcony area.
It ran until 1958 when it was turned into a bingo hall, then a warehouse and most recently a snooker hall. Over time it had become pretty dilapidated, but many of its original features remained, hidden from view.
A few years ago Eat17 took it on, turning the ground floor into a lovely convenience store, and in 2015 we were introduced to them. Visiting the vacant first floor, we all felt it was just too special to be left empty - with it’s ornate plasterwork, proscenium arch and curved ceiling, this beautiful picture palace is rich with history.
With years of experience running two successful pop-up cinema events - Hot Tub Cinema & Pillow Cinema - we were confident we'd be able to do the necessary work, but we needed to know whether there was support to bring the project to life.
So in March 2016 we launched a Kickstarter campaign and told everyone we could - we emailed all our past guests, put flyers in thousands of local letterboxes, got all the local press involved, talked to anyone who would listen, and did some free screenings in the space to give everyone the chance to get excited with us...
...and the result was overwhelming. Over 650 people raised 120% of the target, triggering the latest chapter of The Castle Cinema!
Below we have written the names of everybody who has helped bring the cinema back to life, to thank them for their support. We truly couldn't have done it without each and every one of them.
A massive thank you to absolutely everyone who has supported and guided us throughout the project. We really couldn't have done it without you!
Thank you to those who got involved with the Kickstarter, to those who shouted about us, to those who got stuck in and to those who fed us when we forgot to feed ourselves.
Together we've built something really special!