On Little Christmas Listowel's Classic Movieplex closed after 35 years. The following day we launched a petition to SaveOurCinema that has been signed over 2,300 times. Three months later, "Friends of Listowel Cinema", now need your help and generosity to enable us to buy 'our' cinema back. Give what you can please and be sure and share this with some of your friends and relatives around the world.
"The cinema has been a wonderful amenity for the town of Listowel for decades".
"Cinema in Listowel has been an integral part of the community. My family have always enjoyed going. It should be kept open".
"Every town needs a cinema".
"Friends of Listowel Cinema" is a not-for-profit organisation with its registered address at a solicitor's practice in Tralee. We the Board have put together exciting plans for the future including a Film Museum and a Cafe/Bar extension. Our plans have been financially vetted with professional 'cinema consultants' as well as help from The Irish Film Institute https://ifi.ie
in Dublin. We also draw inspiration from Birks Cinema https://birkscinema.co.uk
in Aberfeldy in rural Scotland who managed to raise an incredible £1.8m over 4 years to re-open their cinema in 2012. The little market town of Aberfeldy on the River Tay has just half the population of Listowel but still managed to sell over 30,000 cinema tickets in the year ending March 31st 2020 just as the pandemic was starting, on a single screen 100 seat cinema.
For those who question the future of cinema in the era of home streaming please see a detailed response on https://www.change.org/saveourcinema
Suffice to say that cinema going will always have that 'wow' experience that one gets from a live concert or even a football match.
Another comment from Change.org
"It is one of my favourite places to go and would have a negative effect for Listowel Town" (if it were to remain closed).
As well as being a typical cinema showing blockbusters, new theatrical releases, weekend matinees and 'cultural cinema' in Screen 2, the plans include re-orientating it as a "community cinema" during the day. Morning, afternoon and early evening screenings will be made available for a variety of interested community groups such as moms and pops with young babies after dropping their older kids off at school or to the creche, active retirement organisations, those with special needs, historical and arts societies, sporting organisations, farming and animal welfare groups, 'Zoom' conferencing, minority and refugee interests, private parties and a very important Schools Programme for all our Primary and Secondary schools in the locality. And all this will be delivered for a nominal day-time fee as part of our 'social enterprise' philosophy.
We will also offer home streaming via the cinema's website similar to what the IFI are doing in Dublin so that you never miss out on your favourite movies.
Should we get planning permission for a cafe/bar (pictured) it will be open to all during the day. The floor to ceiling windows together with the internal mezzanine will be a very attractive feature and should brighten up the whole area. Evenings will be a wine bar and perhaps some premium bottled beers for film goers and those that have cinema membership.
Whether you decide to donate €10 or a pair of evening cinema tickets equivalent to €20 or the family package with drinks and delicious 'salty' popcorn included worth €50, each and every donation will be greatly appreciated.
Give what you can now please and help us put a winning bid in to SaveOurCinema.
"Great amenity (in town) as a literary and heritage town. It would be awful to lose the cinema. Film clubs were great and happy childhood memories of seeing ET and the care bears there!"
Friends of Listowel Cinema clg
Note: In the event we are not successful in buying 'our' cinema back all the money raised will be used for the benefit of three local charities and whose members have been regular users of the cinema over the years; Kerry Parents & Friends Association, St John of Gods Community Services and the Irish Wheelchair Association.