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Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 15:29 UK
Ipswich Film Theatre to re-open with A Single Man
By Andrew Woodger
BBC Suffolk

Colin Firth with a BAFTA
Colin Firth with his leading actor BAFTA for A Single Man

Ipswich's arts cinema re-opens in May with a screening of A Single Man starring Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult.

The venue, in the basement of Ipswich's Corn Exchange, closed in October 2009 when the Hollywood chain pulled out.

A group of volunteers will run the Ipswich Film Theatre as a trust.

Its first programme lasts until 2 July using both screens, but showings will only be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.

Both Hollywood and Ipswich Borough Council before them have decided they couldn't make an arts cinema work in the town, but that's not worrying the new group.

"I think there is a significant audience out there," said Andrew Clarke, from the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust.

"I'm not anxious, because the level of support we've got has been amazing. We've got over 100 volunteers, 300 signed-up to our email list and those are just the people who are pro-active.

"It's been a long haul. We started talking to the council in September when Hollywood pulled out.

"Because we're all volunteers, it's been on a beg, steal or borrow basis.

"There's been a lot of goodwill and the council has trained our volunteers."

One of them is Pippa Cross whose father Robert Cross created the Ipswich Film Theatre in 1975.

Andrew Clarke of the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust
Andrew Clarke is confident the cinema project will be a success

Ipswich Borough Council, which still owns the venue, issued a statement which said it supports the re-launch, but it won't be funding it with taxpayers' money.

The first screening of A Single Man has been chosen because it hasn't been shown in Ipswich at the mainstream multiplex, despite winning a BAFTA and being Oscar-nominated.

The other films were also never shown on release, or only received runs of a week at most.

Other films to be shown include Glorious 39, Seraphine, The Last Station, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Precious.

However, Andrew Clarke said it's still a case of 'use it or lose it' (again):

"This is the last roll (or reel!) of the dice for independent film in Ipswich."

Ticket prices are a flat-rate £6 for all seats. Check the Ipswich Film Theatre Trust website for full details.

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