Despite an incredibly isolated, rural location, over 20,000 people a year enjoy the Magic Lantern Cinema located in Tywyn on the west coast of Wales. Surrounded by sea and mountains, the wonderful 125 year old ‘Assembly Rooms’ has been showing films since 1901, making it one of the oldest cinemas in Europe.
The Magic Lantern combines the charm and traditions of cinemas of old with state-of-the-art technology, and this beloved venue is known for its fantastic variety of films, from the latest blockbusters to less well known but fabulous independent and art house films from all over the world.
Sadly, the cinema is facing a huge problem. The annual service of our projector has revealed that an essential part, the optical block, will only last for 6 months before the colours on screen start deteriorating to an extent that will make films unwatchable. The cost of replacing this part is £18,000. This came as a huge shock to us, we had no idea that our Sony projector would require such costly replacement parts only 6 years after its installation and as such have not made provisions for this eventuality.
The Magic Lantern prides itself on showing a range of diverse films even though we know some films will not bring in huge crowds. Over the last 9 years, 100% of its yearly profits (which is generally a very small amount) have been reinvested into the cinema in a continuing effort to improve the venue and its programme.
The Lantern isn’t just a cinema, it is an important part of our community. In addition to films, live music, theatre and special events we also play host to various community events. A Welsh Language learners group meets monthly, as does the Tywyn Well Being group at our regular Relaxed Screenings. We have hosted Charity coffee mornings, provided meeting points for local organisations like Greener Tywyn, the Town Council and CPR Training Sessions, hosted charity fundraisers and provide a venue for birthday parties and weddings.
Last Christmas Day we decided to open and show a film for free for people who would be alone at Christmas and thanks to the generosity of the town’s people and businesses, raised enough money to provide a 2 course meal and a full day of entertainment that made a huge difference to many people.
The Magic Lantern means so much to so many. We must raise this money as quickly as possible to ensure we can fix our projector in the next few months and continue to show films, as we have been doing for the last 118 years.
What we need is the equivalent of 3000 people buying a balcony ticket (£6). Can you be one of them? Or are you able to give more and help us reach our target more quickly?
All donations will be used purely to fix the projector and the owners, staff and everyone who loves The Lantern will be so grateful for any contributions, small or large.
Despite the huge problem we are now facing, our fantastic team of staff are going to tackle this problem in their usual style, with their brilliance and irrepressible humour. They have made this short film for you in the hopes that it will make you smile and convince you to send a little money our way.