Saffron Screen will be taking over the management of Royston Picture Palace, after six years of successful management by the Royston First BID (Business Improvement District) company.
Uttlesford’s popular community cinema will work with the excellent and highly proficient team of volunteers at Royston, who will continue to deliver a varied programme of films supported by the management team at Saffron Screen for marketing, programming and technical services.
Andrew Jenkins, Saffron Screen’s Business Manager said; “This is a great opportunity, following the model established by Saffron Screen over 13 years ago, for Royston Picture Palace to grow and present more entertainment to the community. The aim, over the next few months, is to increase the opening hours, screen more films and introducing live relays of theatre and music”.
Established in 2006, Saffron Screen is an award-winning, independent, community cinema which welcomes a local audience of 40,000 annually. The not-for-profit cinema aims to serve the whole community by showing a range of mainstream, arthouse and foreign language films alongside live theatre, ballet, music and opera. Ticket and refreshment prices are also kept low and parking is free.
Royston Picture Palace was launched in 2013 and was largely modelled on Saffron Screen. The project was funded jointly by Royston Town Council, who refurbished the town hall to accommodate the cinema, and Royston First, which purchased the digital projection system, Dolby sound equipment, retractable seating and screen. The cinema has sold up to 11,000 tickets per year and is staffed entirely by a dedicated team of volunteers from the local community. Currently screenings are mostly on Fridays and Saturdays – with occasional Sundays and matiness, all of which is set to increase under the new management structure.
A spokesman for Royston First said: “We see moving to management by Saffron Screen, over the next few months, as key to our strategy of re-introducing and maintaining a cinema in Royston. Moving management of the Picture Palace to an experienced, not-for-profit film management company staffed by film professionals and enthusiasts is clearly a step in the right direction. With this agreement we are hoping to secure the future of Royston’s cinema for many years to come. Over the past 6 years, the Royston Picture Palace has established itself as a vital resource for Royston, encouraging in visitors from the outlying villages as well as the town itself who are looking for a great evening’s entertainment”.