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Campaigners look to develop oral history of Hucknall’s Byron Cinema

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Campaigners aiming to bring Hucknall’s Byron Cinema back to life have announced plans to develop an oral history of the iconic building.

The Byron Community Project has applied for a small grant to develop the scheme to bring the sounds of the 78 year-old picture house.

Team member David Heathcote said: “We are now keener than ever to hear from anyone who can recall ways in which the Byron played a part in their lives.

“These memories must be recaptured and recorded, otherwise they will be lost forever.

“One lady remembers falling in love with a commissionaire at the cinema. It was apparently his military-style uniform that did it for her.

“On a more dramatic note, one patron had to be rushed from the Byron to hospital with appendicitis.”

The team are still waiting on a decision over their application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which was submitted on 23rd May.

Mr Heatchote gave a presentation about the project at last week’s meeting of Hucknall’s Reach Out residents’ group, held at Holgate Academy.

He said: “Work on the Lottery application was a huge undertaking. It comprised 9,000 words, 48 pages and ten file attachments.

“Nearly £2 million is needed to bring the cinema back into use and renovate this beautiful and now-rare art deco building, which is the gateway to the town centre.

“Enthusiastic support has been shown by the local community. Hucknall Tourism and Regeneration Group are right behind us and we have backing from the town’s Conservative MP, Mark Spencer.”

David said the venue had a strong theatrical potential and he could visualise it being used by local amateur drama groups and schools of dancing, as well as for live events from as far afield as London.

He stressed that the bingo side of the building, which dates back to the 1960s, was equally vital from a heritage point of view.

A fundraising craft fair will be held at the Byron on Sunday 27th July, with a variety of stalls to be set up.

Anyone with memories of the cinema is asked to contact volunteer@thebyronproject.co.uk

 

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