CURRENTLY home to the Ceredigion Museum, Aberystwyth’s historic Grade II-listed Coliseum is reinstalling a cinema screen for the first time since its closure as a cinema 40 years ago. With a £13,917 community grant secured by Friends of Ceredigion Museum, the building is preparing to reinstall a full-sized cinema and projector.
The Coliseum opened as a variety theatre in 1905, and became a cinema in the early 1930’s. It was abandoned in 1977, before reopening as Ceredigion Museum in 1982. The museum is currently undergoing a £1.3 million of Heritage Lottery funded renovation called ‘New Approaches’, of which the re-introduction of the cinema is part of. The building will be re-equipped with comfortable seating, modern audio-visual technology and a hearing loop for visitors with hearing aids. Friends of Ceredigion Museum believe that these renovations will enable the cinema to host bigger and better community events in the future.
Lionel Madden, chair of Friends of Ceredigion Museum, said:
“The Friends are delighted to be contributing to the future sustainability of the museum by raising funds to re-equip the auditorium with state-of-the-art technology, facilities for people with hearing impairments and new seating and tables.
Many of the Friends have fond memories of the Coliseum as a cinema and it will be wonderful to experience the magic of the movies in such a beautiful setting once again.”
In celebration of the occasion the museum will be showing a silent Charlie Chaplin film entitled ‘Shoulder Arms’, complete with live piano accompaniment by Dr Stephen Briggs, a long-time supporter of the museum. With its First World War setting, the film is part of the programme of activities that complement the museums current exhibition of propaganda posters from the time.
Curator Carrie Canham commented:
“We’ve been showing films for some time, and they’re always very popular, particularly the silent films, but we have always had to borrow equipment and the screen we were using isn’t very big. Now we can do the films we show the justice they deserve and audiences will have a much better experience.
I can’t thank the Friends enough for their hard work in securing the funding, which all adds to the match funding we need for our Heritage Lottery funding project.”
The screening of ‘Shoulder Arms’ is on Friday April 29th at 7.30pm, and costs £7, or £6 for concessions.
For more information about the renovations and Ceredigion Museum visit the website here.