Re-opening Byron could be ‘viable’

Byron Cinema meeting held at the  Brromhill Lane Childrens Centre in Hucknall on Wednesday night.
Byron Cinema meeting held at the Brromhill Lane Childrens Centre in Hucknall on Wednesday night.

A MOVE for the curtain to go up again at Hucknall’s historic Byron Cinema has gathered momentum.

A meeting about the highly ambitious idea of re-opening the cinema was held at Broomhill Road Children’s Centre this week.

And the turnout was larger than expected forcing organisers to move to another room.

A brief overview of the ‘bring back the cinema’ plea was given by Stuart Pocklington, a committee member of the I Love Hucknall town team.

Born and bred in Hucknall, Stuart said: “I have great memories of the Byron and went there countless times as a youngster. It is a shame that this well-known local amenity has been left to rot.”

Rachel Whitmore, who works in the research office at Nottingham University, reported on a business plan she has produced to support the possibility of the cinema being re-opened.

She said the Byron would face competition with major cinemas for new releases as they received these earlier than independent picture houses.

But she pointed out that the Byron could also show archived, cult and local interest films as well as providing a showcase for amateur film makers.

Another suggestion is for the cinema to serve a multi-functional purpose as an arts centre and a venue for such events as conferences, award presentations and live music.

Rachel went on to say that if the cinema was revived, it could help to revitalise the town centre and become a focal point for the community, while interacting with businesses, schools and colleges.

“I feel it could be a viable proposition to restore the cinema and that it would prove of real benefit to the Hucknall community,” said Rachel. “I carried out a small survey in Hucknall and the response was very positive.”

It was agreed to look into costings and explore possible funding sources for what was acknowledged to be a formidable financial challenge. A further meeting is to be arranged.