What is the Leiston Film Theatre Support Club?
The Leiston Film Theatre Support Club is an independent group, founded in November 1992 to raise funds to improve the facilities and interior décor of the Leiston Film Theatre, Suffolk’s oldest purpose built working cinema, which first opened its doors on the 27th October 1914. (Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council owns the venue and is responsible for the main fabric and exterior of the Film Theatre)
Through numerous fund-raising activities and social events, the Club provides financial assistance towards the many improvements made at the venue.
Set the Stage
In 2006, the Support Club embarked on its first ambitious project ‘Set the Stage’ with a fund-raising target figure of £33,000, to totally revitalise the stage area for live shows and cinema presentations.
This project included the provision of a new sound system, upgraded new lighting, new stage curtains and a new scenery storage area with additional dressing room facilities.
With generous support from individuals, companies, grants and our own substantial fund-raising efforts this project was successfully completed in July 2009.
The Club also raised funds in 2008/09 for improvements to the enlargement of the Film Theatre foyer, which was officially opened in April, with a plaque in memory of Peter Free, who was a much regarded former Film Theatre manager.
Digital 3D Project
In January 2010 the ‘Digital 3D Project’ was launched to provide the venue with the very latest in 3D digital projection at a cost of £75,000, enabling the Film Theatre to screen the latest films in a pristine digital format and in 3D when available.
The Town Council initially set aside £25,000, with the Club donating a further £10,000.
To enable the installation to proceed the Council secured a low interest loan of £40,000 payable over five years, with an understanding the Club would continue to raise funds with a view to helping meet the repayments over five years.
Digital 3D cinema came to Leiston Film Theatre in September 2010 and with excellent support the Club paid off the entire loan 6 months early.
Behind the Scenes
Before embarking on our current project the Club financed new drapes throughout the auditorium.
Our latest project ‘Behind the Scenes’ has so far provided new sound and visual equipment which includes a sound relay to the toilets during a film screening and sound and visual relays to the dressing rooms during live shows which allows performers to monitor activities on stage.
We have provided LED up-lighting and microphones to enhance live show performances. as well as a new sound desk and lighting desk to control the new LED stage lights that give a much cooler environment for performers on stage. We have also funded new stage scenic gauze and backcloths and refurbishment of the proscenium arch.
Currently we are funding a new stage floor covering with a generous grant for the full amount from County Councillor T J Haworth-Culf and we are also part funding a new electric winch system for scenic backdrops to make it easier and more importantly safer to raise and lower these. The Town Council have agreed to pay half of the cost with the Club paying the balance.
For further details about the Support Club and to see what events we have coming up Click Here.
Membership of the Club is open to any person, on completion of a membership application form and payment of the annual subscription fee, which is currently £6.00.
Membership runs from 1st March to the last day of February.
Club members are entitled to reduced admission to most Club events, regular bulletins on Club activities, including reports on fund-raising and donations to Film Theatre projects, advance bookings for some Film Theatre live shows and invitations to attend exclusive social events for members and their guests.
As a valued Club member you will be helping to secure the vital future of the Leiston Film Theatre for the benefit of the local and surrounding community.
Support Club membership application forms are available at the Film Theatre box office.