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Silver Screen Cinema in Guildhall Street, Folkestone saved from closure after deal is struck to upgrade projectors

By Matt Leclere

The future of Folkestone's only cinema is secure after owners agreed a deal to upgrade the projection equipment.

The Silver Screen Cinema has now gained the funding to provide a digital projection system.

The main screen was used for the first time on Saturday for a special screening of the 1987 classic Dirty Dancing in aid of Cancer Research UK and the Race for Life event the following day.

Folkestone's Silver Screen Cinema - would-be thieves caused £200 damage.

The two-screen picturehouse - in the old council chambers on the first floor of the town hall - was under serious threat of closure earlier this year after the film industry stopped distributing traditional 35mm film reels.

Without the latest digital equipment, which is estimated to cost around £100,000, the cinema would have been unable to show the latest releases, threatening its future.

"We are indebted to the local community for their continued support, and would like to thank all the members of our film club," Chris Lightwing, cinema manager

But through money raised by donations from the Folkestone Classic Film Club and its members and several special screenings since the start of the year, the cinema will continue to serve the community.

Cinema owner Alexander Wallace said: "We are very grateful to Bell Theatre Services for providing the equipment needed to show new films.

"But we still need help from the people and businesses of Folkestone so that we can cover the remaining equipment costs and keep our doors open into next year.”

Co-owner and manager Chris Lightwing added: “Over the last six months we have been working very hard behind the scenes.

"With the equipment now in place, we can proceed with rolling out our planned programme of updates to Folkestone’s cinema, and we have already applied to Folkestone Town Council to renew our lease.

"We are indebted to the local community for their continued support, and would like to thank all the members of our film club, without whom this would not have been possible.

"We are now looking forward to another twenty-five years of showing our audience the latest films, live events, and special screenings.”

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