The Voyager School have begun using their theatre as a community cinema, which could prove to be a popular move, since the price is a lot cheaper than the Showcase Cinema, and the journey is a lot more convenient for local families. In future the venue could host live acts and act as a replacement for the Cresset Theatre, currently under threat. Louise Hill from the School talks to the BBC’s Paul Stainton about their new venture, which they have called “Voyage to Hollywood”. Broadcast at 08:38 on Thursday 24th June 2010 in the Peterborough Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
PAUL: Now with questions still hanging over the future of the Cresset a surprising venue has come into the spotlight. The Voyager School hopes to capitalise on their theatre and they’ve started using it as a community cinema. Louise Hill is from Voyager School. Good morning Louise.
LOUISE: Good morning.
PAUL: What’s the idea then? Voyage to Hollywood is a great title.
LOUISE: Thank you. Yes. Voyage to Hollywood came about through community consultation, so we asked our local communities that we work in what sort of activities and projects they would like to see within the area. Obviously cinema came up as a high choice. Where we are it can be hard to travel to the multiplex that we do have in Peterborough. The unique thing about Voyage to Hollywood as well is that it’s run by the community for the community. So we have community group volunteers who help represent everybody within the community, and give those ideas and support for the cinema.
PAUL: Now you showed Alice in Wonderland on Saturday.
PAUL: It was a great turn out.
LOUISE: Yes it was. We had at least over three hundred and fifty people attend. We were all very astounded by the turnout and just pleased that the community and the city-wide people as well got behind such a project.
PAUL: Are you able to make it cheaper than perhaps going to the cinema? Is that the aim here?
LOUISE: Yes it is cheaper. It’s four pounds for adults, two pounds for children, and a family ticket will cost you ten pounds. So it is considerably cheaper.
PAUL: You can take your own snacks and drinks?
LOUISE: You can if you wish to.
PAUL: Hurrah. Hurrah. Because that’s what costs, isn’t it. You take your kids to the cinema and you think I’ve just lost thirty pounds.
LOUISE: It is expensive yes. But we try and make it cost-effective for everybody involved.
PAUL: What is the future for this? Obviously you’re going to continue showing films. Is it potentially somewhere as well that could perhaps replace a venue like the Cresset, and put on acts and gigs and that sort of thing?
LOUISE: Certainly the theatre itself is a very versatile venue. Not only are we running Voyage to Hollywood from there but we run the Battle of the Bands, and we have obviously musical productions happening in there. But the future for Voyage to Hollywood would be that the community group eventually takes the project and runs it, so that they are only overseen by the school. It is their venture, and their project. We also hope to become a second run cinema as well, which means that we’ll have new releases quicker than we currently have them. We also want to look at providing film making workshops for the community, so that they can come along, make films, and we can show those as well within the cinema.
PAUL: So the film, the Voyage to Hollywood project, is the last Friday in every month, and are they all going to be family orientated films as well?
LOUISE: At the moment they’re all going to be family orientated, so we’ve gone for the 12A and the PGs, so we’ll see our next film is The Clash of the Titans on the Thirtieth of July, followed by Iron Man Two and StreetDance. When it goes over to the communities group, we’re hoping that it will be able to run on a more frequent basis, and then we can start looking at more 15 certificate and 18 certificate films as well as old classics like Some Like it Hot.
PAUL: And you can get five hundred people in there as well. It’s a great community project.
LOUISE: Yes it is. It is. It was a fantastic vibe on Saturday night.
PAUL: Yes. And the Queen tribute act was on there a few weeks ago, which has got me thinking perhaps it could be somewhere that, with money tight, we could bring comedians and bands and stick them in there as well.
LOUISE: It would be fantastic to see the theatre being used in that manner as well.
PAUL: Well listen, thank you for coming in this morning. And every success with the project which is Voyage to Hollywood. Last Friday of every month they’re showing films down there. Hopefully they’re going to become .. did you say a second rUn cinema?
PAUL: Which will get you new films much much quicker. If people do want to go, do want to get tickets, last Friday in every month, how do they do that?
LOUISE: You can either buy them from the Paul Pry on Lincoln Road, or you can buy them from the school reception, or just turn up on the night and buy them from the box office there.
PAUL: Good stuff. Louise Hill from that project, Voyage to Hollywood, which is taking place at Voyager School.