After the Floods: Picture House Friends to help boost audience numbers
Tuesday, 31 May 2016
The Friends of the Picture House in Hebden Bridge will be out in force on Friday, June 3, to hand out cinema programmes and leaflets at railway stations in the Calder Valley, in a bid to boost audience numbers.
The Picture House was badly affected by flooding on Boxing Day and, though it was closed for only a few days and has now been extensively refurbished, audience numbers are down on pre-flood levels.
The Friends of the Picture House are now committed to doing all they can to ensure that movie-goers return. Chairman Paul Knights said: "Audience numbers in 2016 are down on 2015 and are not yet recovering. It was hoped that they would improve once the new stalls seating opened at Easter but in early May average attendance has fallen to just 48.
"We know there will be a host of reasons why Valley residents have not been coming so often since the Boxing Day flood. We also fully appreciate that other Calderdale businesses are feeling the pain from the decline in footfall since the floods. But we know that the Picture House is at the heart of the community for many people so we feel it is important that we put out a call for more support."
Cinema manager Rebekah Fozard said, "Until the floods we were having a really good trading year and last December average attendances were 120.
"We have a unique cinema in Hebden Bridge - but it receives no operational grants or council funding and we are totally reliant on our customers to keep it going. The cinema looks stunning, we have introduced new initiatives, such as the loyalty card and family tickets - and now we want people to come back."
Members of the Friends helped out with cleaning up the devastated building in the immediate aftermath of the flooding and funds raised at the Friends' Christmas raffle have gone towards refurbishment of the cinema.
Volunteers from the group will be at stations in Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge and Walsden to talk to passengers and hand out the June programme. For more information on supporting the cinema visit this web page
For films and events, see the Picture House website