Feedback on Future of Harleston Cinema

As many are aware, Harleston Cinema is a voluntary group that provides a monthly matinee and evening showing of a contemporary (and occasionally classic) film. It forms part of the Harleston Future initiative which seeks to provide the town’s folk with a variety of community activities throughout the year.

The films are advertised in the Grapevine, as well as around the town, via social media and on local radio stations, with bookings taken via the HIP. Where possible, we also welcome those who turn up without a reservation. The screenings are in the Masonic Hall, Redenhall Road, on the fourth Thursday of each month. The Lodge, as part of their charitable enterprises, provides a most welcome, safe and compliant environment for the cinema goers to enjoy the film on a big screen, with high-quality projection and surround sound. Alburgh ice creams are sold during the intermission and the venue provides a bar on arrival and during the interval for the evening performance.

Pre-Covid there were plans to increase the number of showings due to generally high demand for seats but unfortunately that situation has not presented itself since we returned to ‘normality’ and we find ourselves for the first time in the rather depressing situation of having to cancel a screening due to low attendance.

Although the ideal is to create funds for reinvestment in the community, we have acknowledged breaking even as acceptable. Regrettably we cannot operate at a loss, which has been the case of late, despite the generosity of the Masons and HIP waiving their fees.

Clearly, we do not want to lose this monthly social activity, but we seek to understand why the numbers have been declining to a point where it is no longer viable to operate.

·         Is it a general lack of confidence in gathering indoors because of Covid vulnerability?

·         Is the adherence to Covid regulations too strict?

·         Are the Covid precautions put in place too lax?

·         Have we got out of the habit due to the imposed lock-down and isolation?

·         Are the films we have been showing not to your taste (accepting we can only show what is released)?

·         Or some other reason why you have chosen not to return.

Your feedback is sought as a genuine attempt to carry on and not put Harleston Cinema on the list of Covid casualties.

Please email your constructive comments to Eileen at or in writing via HIP in Exchange Street.


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