The Roxy is one of England’s tiniest cinemas. We’re a volunteer-run not for profit community cinema and we’ve been serving the people of the Cheddar Valley in Somerset and beyond for 9 years, providing an accessible, affordable and intimate venue for film and other arts in rural Somerset.
In our glamorous little venue, we deliver film, friendship and fun to everyone, including many who would otherwise be excluded by location, disability or cost from participation in the shared experience of public, sociable culture and entertainment. The Roxy’s home is in part of a converted coaching inn, and it’s been designed as a miniature art deco cinema, complete with foyer and box office, vintage seats, originally from Bristol’s Colston hall and a 1950’s cocktail bar.
The Roxy is run by volunteers and supporters and each year we have expanded to meet increased demand, not just for our regular screenings, but as a venue for all sorts of activities. The 32 seat cinema was most recently augmented by an outside canopy space, and we now provide meals to match the films we screen a few times a year. This last development was added so that in future we would be able to raise our own funds with special events like these.
The venue is not just used for our own film screenings, but is also a vital space for children’s groups such as the Brownies, young parents groups like the Roxy Babies and, for example, adults with learning difficulties, enabling everone, whatever their needs to enjoy films in a safe, unintimidating environment. We mentor young volunteers who are interested in careers in film, and are now expanding beyond cinema to include small theatre and music events, comedy, community talks, meetings and conferences.
But we need your help to keep the show on the road! While still paying costs associated with the canopy project, all our sound and projection equipment failed, and there’s a lot of maintenance work to be done which can’t be funded out of the regular programme without putting prices up, which we’re determined not to do. We also need to finish the Roxy’s kitchen and update some of its furnishings. We could achieve all this, and if we were lucky enough to stretch this further, we’d be able to develop even more services to the community, including National Theatre, ballet and opera screenings. We’ve made a great start with help from local supporters and charitable funds, but we are at risk of closing down without a substantial injection of funds. Check us out at www.axbridgeroxy.org.uk and www.number36andtheroxy.co.uk
Thanks so much for your time – and whether you can help or not, we’d be grateful if you could pass on the message!