After months of negotiations, we are excited to announce that the future of our unique independent cinema is secure and will relocate to a new home and double in size.
Our new 118-seat auditorium is to be built in Plymouth College of Art and will open to the public on 10th January 2019.
Chair of Plymouth Arts Centre’s Board of Trustees, Andrew Brewerton, said: “Moving from the Looe Street address is emotional for many people, but the fact is that it is no longer fit for purpose. Audiences are the heart of Plymouth Arts Centre and the thing that drives it forward.
“It will continue to be run by Plymouth Arts Centre’s Cinema programmer Anna Navas and the team from Plymouth Arts Centre, who will take special care to bring the quality and breadth of films, friendly atmosphere and grown-up cinema experience with them.”
Our 61-seat cinema in Looe Street enjoyed a record year in 2017, with nearly 18,000 admissions across 135 films. Our live event cinema, film festival, and regular talks by internationally renowned filmmakers such as director Ben Wheatley, and Oscar winners Roger Deakins and Mia Bays continue to build in popularity.
We also recently showcased yet another sell-out summer season of Open Air Cinema at iconic waterfront locations, Tinside Lido, Mount Edgcumbe and Royal William Yard and we plan to continue to do so in the future!
Mark Cosgrove, Cinema Curator at Watershed in Bristol and BFI FAN Film Hub Lead Organisation for the South West added: “Plymouth Arts Centre has always been an important bastion of independent film culture in Plymouth and the South West providing access for residents and communities to the rich range and diversity of world cinema. At a time when we are seeing growth in audiences and strategic investment for independent film it is exciting to hear of these plans for Plymouth Arts Centre’s development which will secure the future of independent cinema in the city.”
Tim Bolton, Vice Principal at Plymouth College of Art, said: “Plymouth College of Art shares many fundamental values with Plymouth Arts Centre and we have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship spanning numerous years. We welcome this opportunity to continue to collaborate with them, to enrich the arts and cultural fabric of the South West.
“We’re confident that the new, enhanced space will improve the viewing experience for cinema-goers, and hope that together our shared resources will enable Plymouth Arts Centre to continue their mission to bring independent cinema to the city.”
In recent years, our film programmer Anna Navas and the rest of the cinema team have already developed a national reputation as champions of gender equality in the film industry, as an early adopter of The F-Rating and Birds Eye View’s Reclaim the Frame. We have also taken the initiative in introducing younger audiences to independent cinema by introducing our popular £4 ticket price for our audience members aged 25 and under.
The withdrawal of the Arts Council England’s NPO funding for Plymouth Arts Centre in April 2018 put extreme pressure on all areas of the organisation. These new plans are the result of months of work by our dedicated Board of Trustees and partners to create a sustainable future for us.
The Board has taken the difficult decision to sell the historic Looe Street building. The resources are not in place to continue to deliver both the cinema and the visual arts programme, and given the current circumstances, the Trustees have reluctantly reached an unavoidable decision to halt the visual arts programme for the time being. PAC Home, our highly regarded network of artists and arts professionals, is developing plans to continue independently.
Our Looe Street cinema will continue to operate at its current home until the beginning of December 2018 with an exciting programme full of the latest releases and arthouse films scheduled for you to enjoy. Take a look at what’s coming up, including the critically acclaimed First Man, Bohemian Rhapsody and Widows.
We will be launching a major fundraising campaign to support the cinema. For now, the best way to support us is to continue to visit, make a donation, or become a friend. Click here for further details.