Porthmadog Coliseum: Cinema campaigners win year lease

The Coliseum, Porthmadog Friends of the Coliseum has a year-long lease to prepare a business case for the finance needed to restore the building opened in the 1930s

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Hopes of reopening an historic Gwynedd cinema have been given a boost after a lease was agreed.

The Coliseum in Porthmadog closed in January 2011 and since then the Friends of the Coliseum campaign has been trying to raise funds to reopen it.

Shareholders in the private cinema agreed to lease the building to the group at a meeting on Wednesday night.

The campaigners have a year to prepare grant bids to restore the cinema, which dates from the 1930s.

Friends of the Coliseum, a not-for-profit company, called a shareholders-only meeting at Porthmadog Arts Centre.

The Coliseum has been owned by the community since 1985, when some 50,000 shares in the cinema were sold to local people for £1 each.

On its website, Friends of the Coliseum said: "Over the past year that the cinema has remained closed, we have worked hard and have been quite successful in raising awareness of the plight of Porthmadog's Coliseum and the devastating impact of its closure on the local community."

Built by local entrepreneur Captain W E Pritchard, the picture house retains many of its original features.

A public appealed rescued the cinema from the brink of closure in 2007.

The £14,000 raised helped to fix the heating boiler and spruce up the building.

The shares sale in the 1980s saved the Coliseum from closure it. It was forced to close its doors last year amid dwindling audiences.

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