Deptford and Hollywood may be poles apart but thanks to the initiative of a group of passionate film buffs and local volunteers the big screen is coming to Lewisham. A former derelict car body workshop on the Broadway is to be transformed into a cinema.
The eight founding members which include a teacher, a musician, a graphic designer and a trainee solicitor are leading the not for profit project. Local volunteers will run a 50 seat cinema, cafe/bar and dark room. The movie listings will concentrate on art house films as well as showing titles from Hollywood to Bollywood, with some more experimental films on the bill.
“We wanted to create something that would have real value for the local community,” explained, Edwin Mingard, one of the volunteering members.
There’s still work to be done ahead of the Autumn opening, especially on the decor. Currently the newly plastered walls host a couple of movie posters from classic films such as Casablanca and Manhattan. To get the work done, the cinema is holding an open meeting every Sunday at 1pm to encourage volunteers to get involved.
“We need everyone,” explained Tyler Dunn, a musician and local resident: “Whatever they can contribute – from skills like plumbing and plastering, to ideas about what kind of films we should show.”
There has been much enthusiasm so far with these sessions given that volunteers have raised their hands both to building work and designing the film programme of the space. “It’s very exciting” said Dickie Owen, 87, local volunteer and retired actor: ”I can’t remember having a cinema in Deptford during the 40 years I’ve lived here.”