Posted: 03.05.21 at 16:15 by Shannon O'Neill
THE lease has been signed and funding confirmed for the old library in Acton to be turned into a new independent pop-up cinema.
The cinema plans to have two-screen rooms and a café, but there will also be an opportunity for the local community to use the space too.
The idea for the cinema was inspired in 2018 by a group of Acton residents who joined together to form a community initiative called the Acton Arts Project.
The project later became a Community Interest Company (CIC) which now has eight directors, as well as many more community volunteers, advisors and contributors.
Amanda Mason, one of the Company Directors, told Nub News: “We are all very excited about actually acquiring the building from Ealing - which has been a long process - and are now looking for a suitable tenant for the upper floors.
"A team of volunteers has been working all over the bank holiday weekend to brighten up the upper floor by cleaning and painting.
"The response from the community has been fantastic - not just through their pledges and donations but with all the offers of help and all the hard work people are putting in.”
Dan Crawford, the Labour Councillor for Acton Central, told Ealing Nub News: “It’s been a long time coming getting the cinema in Acton and getting it all agreed, the local community has done a fantastic job raising funds and putting together an impressive bid.
"Even though the pandemic has altered the landscape for many, we are still pleased it’s going ahead, as it is important in order to drive the regeneration in Acton.
"We currently have a new leisure centre, shopping centre and hopefully as we see the restrictions lift from the pandemic the new cinema will drive lots of visitors to the Acton area too.”
The Acton Arts Project has received support from thousands of Acton residents as well as financial sponsors.
Some of the key financial contributors are The Architectural Heritage Fund which donated £20,000 and the Mayor of London who donated £30,000 from his Make London fund.
Denise Singleton, an Acton resident said: “The cinema in Acton is a brilliant idea as it would be a great way for the community to come together, Acton seems to be changing a lot and this will also give older people something to do.
"We also don’t need any more chicken shops in Acton, there are already too many.”
The old library in Acton has been closed to the general public since 2014, but in previous years it was used by former local residents such as Sean Connery and The Who.
The cinema will be the first one in the area for the last 50 years and Crawford describes the project as: “A really exciting development as it has attracted a lot of interest including Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, celebrities, artists and film critics.
"It’s really encaptured the spirit of Acton, especially during the pandemic.”
Crawford also said he is looking forward to visiting the cinema himself: “I love films, we haven’t had a cinema in Acton for many years, or Ealing even, so people have had to travel much further afield, which is a shame as we have a huge creative community here.
"I will be delighted to go along when it opens and I’m sure thousands of others will too.
"I would urge people to support the project.”
Mason added: “We are planning a launch gala and other events in the run up to a proper cinema opening - probably in September.
"The best way for anyone and everyone to keep in touch is to sign up on our website.”
You can find out more about the Acton Arts Project HERE.
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