Village cinema to launch

Ben Steppenbeck, project manager of the Seahouses Hub for Seahouses Development Trust at the sports and community centre where the screen is being erected.
Ben Steppenbeck, project manager of the Seahouses Hub for Seahouses Development Trust at the sports and community centre where the screen is being erected.

Film fans in a Northumberland seaside village will soon be able to watch newly-released films without having to travel further afield.

The Seahouses Hub project, at the village’s Sports and Community Centre, which involves a cinema, but will also be expanded to host other arts events, will be launched on Sunday.

It has come about thanks to £54,000 of funding from two sources of lottery funding and will enable the centre, whose major refurbishment was finished in 2011, to host films, theatre, music and more.

The project has teamed up with Film Mobile Scotland, which gives it access to films about three weeks after their release date.

Project manager Ben Steppenbeck, who used to work for Northumberland Theatre Company, agreed it represents a coup for Seahouses.

“It should be on a par with the Alnwick Playhouse and the Maltings on timescale, which is great,” he said. “It just opens up the hall for more uses and gets more people into use it.

“The idea is to get the community involved and make it somewhere people can come and enjoy a night out or bring their kids to see a film.

“The main thing is to get the community to support it. We’re hoping that people appreciate having this in their village.”

The first phase has been carried out by Tyneside-based Stage Electrics.

Business development manager, Craig Grieveson, said: “We were delighted to be involved in the Seahouses Development Trust cinema project.

“Ben’s vision was extremely ambitious, including state-of-the-art Dolby 7.1 digital surround system and specialist cinema speaker system, bespoke eight-metre cinema-scope projection screen and a flexible perimeter curtain track system, with all elements combining to assist with the transformation of the community centre’s multi-purpose hall.”

Looking ahead, fund-raising will take place so that the hub can buy its own projector, which for now will be provided by Film Mobile Scotland.

A website is in its early stages at www.seahouseshub.com