Grant means Barn Theatre in Cirencester can operate as a cinema

Cirencester will be getting its very own cinema for the first time since 2003.

The Barn Theatre will soon reopen its doors to the public with a brand new offering of big-screen delights.

Part of the preparations during the lockdown has seen work begin to reimagine the theatre as a 200 seat cinema.

The proposed transformation of the barn will enable the theatre to reopen in the coming weeks with a slate of films to show, with theatre programmes being brought back at a later date when safe to do so.

The project has been partially funded by Cotswold District Council, with Cabinet voting to provide a grant of £10,000 and a loan of £20,000 towards installing the cinema facilities. The total cost for the cinema transformation project is around £80,000 including the barn’s investment into a media studio. 

Iwan Lewis, artistic director at the Barn Theatre, said: “I would like to thank Cotswold District Council for their generous support of our Cinema project. Since Covid-19, the theatre industry has had to explore new ways of generating revenue. The launch of our cinema will form part of a wider plan to create a multi-functional centre for the arts which all of Cirencester and the surrounding Cotswolds community can enjoy.

“Theatre will remain at the heart of what we do and still feature our award-winning Built by Barn productions but now we will be able to combine this with a new a state-of-the-art multi-media live streaming studio along with an amazing new cinema.

Joe Harris, leader of Cotswold District Council, said: “Ever since the regal cinema on Lewis Lane closed down nearly 20 years ago there has always been talk about getting a cinema back in the town. Today Cotswold District Council are putting our money where our mouth is and helping to make it happen.

“I’m especially delighted that the Barn is going to be the vehicle in order to make it happen, the Barn is already a hub of entertainment for the Cotswolds and I’m excited to see people from across the District taking advantage of this new offering.

“It is vital that businesses that have struggled during the pandemic look at creative ways in which they can adapt and diversify.  The Council will be supporting businesses to build their resilience and to grow during these challenging times.”

The Barn is currently undergoing changes to prepare for its reopening. It will have a capacity of 200 guests including six disabled seats when full, however, while social distancing measures are in place this will be limited to a maximum of 80-120 people – depending on total groups of guests.

To learn more about the Barn Theatre, visit: bit.ly/32jTtId

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