Outgoing chair looks back on more than two decades of service to a Prestatyn Cinema

Reporter:

Suzanne Jordan

THE OUTGOING chair of the Scala Trust has looked back on more than two decades of service to a Prestatyn cinema.

Rhiannon Hughes, who’s involvement with the Scala Cinema and Art Centre spans over 25 years, said it was a sad day when trustees agreed to hand back their keys and lease to Denbighshire County Council, but she “thoroughly enjoyed the experience”.

Ms Hughes explained that a lot had been said about the Cinema. She was delighted that the Trust had achieved their goal of developing the centre as a home for community groups and events.

She said: “When I was Denbighshire County Councillor executive member for culture leisure and tourism, I promised I would work with the community to get the town a new cinema and art centre.

“It took nine years to raise the funds and the open involvement of the community gained the Scala a number of awards.

“The Scala opened in 2009 as Wales first all digital cinema and arts centre and I was so proud to become chair.”

Ms Hughes said one of her highlights was working with artist Paul Young when she was chair of the Prestatyn Youth Arts Festival.

She added: “We wanted to develop a piece of public art - a queue of 100 people representing the Scala’s 100 years of showing films. After fundraising for three years, the wonderful Scala History Queue was unveiled.”

Former Trustees are putting together a report about some of the issues members had to deal with.

Ms Hughes added: “Councillor Huw Jones said the original plan from the Council was flawed.

“The Scala had some difficulties from day one, but there has been a determination by the Trust to grow and diversify the business. I would like to thank every person that has been involved. The Scala is a wonderful building.”

The Council is seeking expressions of interest from operators to re-open the venue.
Trevor Harris, who previously owned Oswestry’s Regal Cinema, has expressed his interest in taking on the Cinema.

He said: “I have put forward a proposal but then was sent an application form.

"I was surprised to be told that the process might take around two to three months. The cinema needs to be re-opened now.”

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