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Is it too much to ask to have a cinema again in Stourbridge?

Thanks to digital technology, running a cinema is cheaper than ever and this has given rise to small, independent cinemas springing up in towns across the UK, so why can't Stourbridge have one as well?

If you haven't already been, do visit the Electric Cinema in Birmingham if you can, it's a great example of what can be achieved www.theelectric.co.uk. It operates a totally different business model to the usual cinema format, you can have a glass of wine or a beer, sit in comfy sofas, watch films that are a bit different to those shown at the major chains, all in a charming, art nouveaux environment.

I have raised the subject with friends, family and business associates, and all have agreed it would be a great thing for Stourbridge. But how practical is it? Where would it be sited? Who is going to invest in it?

Scala Cinema, Stourbridge
Scala Cinema, Lower High Street Stourbridge, 1930s

*** UPDATE October 2015 *** - The old Savoy cinema is now on the market again FOR SALE

Click here for details of the old Savoy cinemaThe property particulars do suggest other possible uses, so we have to be realistic, it may not become a cinema again. But if we can demonstrate a groundswell of opinion from local residents in favour of a cinema, then maybe we can influence it's development.

For information on setting up a cinema, visit the ICO website, this provides lots of sound advice.

NEXT STEPS: Do you support this idea? If so, would someone like to set up a Facebook page for people to register their support for it? If the support is there surely the investors will follow. Meanwhile please send your messages of support Thank you, stourbridge.com, June 2014

Please click on the images below to see a larger version:

Messages of support:
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Regarding  the old Savoy cinema which was the ABC when i was a child. Wouldn't it be fantastic to take it back to being an old style cinema. Not everyone like surround sound etc. given time this could become a tourist attraction and be very benaficial to Stourbridge town. It could be done with the right investors as im sure a lot of people are pasionate about our lovely town. It would  be an absolute crime to loose another fabulous building ...... Just look what happened to the central theatre/odeon/ owen owen. Lets not let that happen again. (Rec'd 9th Aug 2015)
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I've been to the Electric Cinema, just wonderful. GH (Rec'd 9th Aug 2015)
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Wouldn't it be brilliant if we could get a cinema back in Stourbridge, especially an old style one. I hate surround sound etc. imagine having an usherette to show you to your seat with a little torch if you were a few minutes late. Watching the q of people getting ice creams etc in the interval. Two films, oh and being able to sit upstairs would be the best. JLW (Rec'd 9th Aug 2015)
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Let's get the old cinema back up and running. AB (Rec'd 9th Aug 2015)
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Hi I thought you would love to know that we at our new venue have a 14ft screen with full HD 3D capability with space for 150. and will be running regular weekly cinema nights. We are already in talks with many production companies and plan to show art house, currant release, cult and local history films. Stourbridge will have a cinema from 2015 but it would still be nice to have a dedicated building for this. Steve, Scary Canary Venue (Rec'd 24th Oct 2014)
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"It was a pleasure to meet you recently to talk to about plans for the old cinema on Lower High Street. I am very interested in the ideas for the future of this building, It would be excellent to return this building to its original use, and to see a cinema at the heart of Stourbridge again. I know that stourbridge.com has been involved in saving a number of other historic buildings in the local area, so I look forward to hearing more about the plans for the site."
Margot James MP (Rec'd 17th Oct 2014)
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"A cool little independent cinema in Stourbridge actually crossed my mind today as I was walking around town (I haven\'t been back for a couple of years), you\'ve got all the colleges and schools around so you\'d have kids that\'d use it as well as all the usual locals that don't want go to merry hill/Dudley. It would be a really nice selling point of the town." Laura (Rec'd 14th Sep 2014)
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"I am writing on behalf of myself, my wife and my family as well as my Nan who has recently passed away who told me of her support for your cinema project. We have long since been trying to think of a way to bring cinema back to Stourbridge, the town seems again to be growing and would greatly benefit from a revival of its rich cinema history. In short these are the reasons for, and attributes that I feel would benefit a Cinema in Stourbridge:

* We have many suburbs within walking distance to Stourbridge which would use the Cinema and hopefully walk to, some of which do not like the drive over to Dudley or as far as Bridgenorth.
* The Cinema would benefit the 'date' culture that abounds with the night life in Stourbridge, The Duke or French Connection, Pizza Express etc, then onto the cinema for a night out? I just feel that it would complete the town as an evening resort for night time couple'y activities.
* The Cinema could and I feel should double up as a kind of arts hub/ theatre, there would be potential for many links with musical and other groups who are looking for a venue?
* It may be possible to attract day time custom in kids and elderly matinee's as the walking distance point would be an attraction from local residents.
* A traditional cinema, as they have in Bridgnorth and the Electric in Birmingham would be perfect and fitting to the bohemian culture that is now thriving in the area and possibly be more economical also.
* I feel that if it does not happen soon and in Stourbridge then it will soon happen somewhere near Stourbridge and draw this potential custom out from the town.

In short, the time is right and the cause is a good one which I applaud. If there is anything that we can do please let us know and we will see if we can help, we are both self employed as you know and so don't have a great deal of time with other voluntary stuff but we do love to help." (L.P. Wollaston (Rec'd 16th July 2014)
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"With you all the way on the cinema idea!" R.B. Norton, Stourbridge (Rec'd 8th July 2014)
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"It would be great to have a small cinema again in Stourbridge. The local market is very much dominated by out of town, soulless chains who only tend to show blockbusters, so it would be brilliant to have somewhere local that shows a wider range of films and offers a range of snacks that extends beyond popcorn and fizzy drinks. The venue could also tie in with other local businesses to offer theme nights or comedy evenings. I believe a cinema would be a great addition to the town and that the people of Stourbridge would embrace any such venture." O.M. Oldswinford (Rec'd 18 June 2014)
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