Fundraisers are a third of the way towards their target of creating a new bar and restaurant in Newcastle City Centre – with a cinema attached.
The popular Tyneside Cinema is set for a £1.3m expansion, redeveloping the former Barclays bank branch next door on Pilgrim Street into “a little cabaret cinema space where you can sit at a table, have a drink and watch a movie” – similar to the award-winning Roxy in London.
But before work can start and punters can have a pint with their pictures the scheme, which already has £1.2 million in place from trusts and foundations, needs to raise the final £100,000 from the public.
And just four weeks after launching its appeal the cinema has already seen £30,000 pledged – with a large donation coming in the form of free services from solicitors Muckle LLP.
“Contributions have ranged from cheques for several thousand pounds through to customers adding a 20p donation to their cinema tickets – but whether large or small, they all add up to make a real difference, and we are immensely grateful and encouraged by the remarkable display of support and affection for Tyneside Cinema,” said the picture house’s chief executive Mark Dobson.
Muckle – which supported the venue’s last major refurbishment between 2006 and 2008, when two cinema screens were added and the building restored to the grandeur of its original 1937 art deco design – has has sponsored the appeal by undertaking a substantial part of the necessary legal work at no charge to the cinema, allowing the charity to invest the savings into its appeal.
Hugh Welch, senior partner at Muckle, said: “We are very proud to support Tyneside Cinema’s redevelopment appeal, which has really captured the public’s imagination.
“Muckle is committed to making a difference to our local community, and our sponsorship of the Tyneside Appeal will substantially help the cinema at a time when funding for the arts is becoming increasingly difficult to find.”
Work on the refurbishment project is expected to begin in 2014.