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Frome Cinema – Going digital!

WESTWAY Cinema is officially going digital after a real community effort helped raise £10,000 to buy the equipment. 

The family-run cinema was facing closure as the 35mm film they had been using since the 1980s when Dennis and Dolores O’ Connor bought the cinema became obsolete. Now their daughter Martina, who now owns the cinema, will be steering the cinema into a new digital age.

The existing 35mm film they were using was being phased out, meaning the cinema would have no choice but to shut down.

However, as this became a real possibility, the community pulled together to raise the funds. Events such as pub quizzes and clothes swaps took place across the town in a bid to raise the vast sum of money. Local children also helped as pocket money was handed over to the cinema in a bid to save it.

Eventually the £10,000 required was reached and the cinema’s immediate future has been secured. The new digital era for the cinema will allow customers to enjoy better sound and picture quality, along with a wider selection of movies available.

Owner of the Westway, Martina O’Connor said, “It has been so heart-warming to know that everybody was so desperate to see us continue. We felt so deflated after the council rejected us for a grant but I think the community understood the importance of the cinema in the town and pulled together.

“If we hadn’t received this money, there is no doubt that we would have closed. I have taken on a second job to raise more funds and the effort by everyone in Frome to reach our target has been amazing! I would like to thank absolutely everyone who helped. The list is massive of those that made this possible, but I really do appreciate it.”

The cinema hopes to launch its digital experience from Wednesday 19th June with early films being shown on the new equipment including Man of Steel, Despicable Me 2 and the Great Gatsby.