There are ‘reel’ hopes that Leven’s Regent Community Cinema can be saved from closure.
A 10-strong group has come forward with a definite interest in replacing the existing committee members, who have expressed a desire to step down.
The next few days will be crucial, with the new group, led by a Glenrothes businessman, checking over accounts, figures, legal prodecures and any possible liabilities before making a final decision.
But a public meeting on Sunday – which noted the Regent’s successful history and the tremendous work of its volunteers – ended with many positive signs and declarations of support, leaving local people hopeful it can be preserved.
Films are set to be shown at the cinema beyond March 24 – the date the existing board had pencilled in for closure.
Charity Leven Community Cinema had also applied to OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) to dissolve by March 31 – but that request can be revoked if a new committee steps in.
The interested parties also want the cinema to remain open during the proposed changeover, which will hopefully happen at a forthcoming extraordinary general meetinge.
Treasurer Colin Cunningham stressed once again that the present charity definitely wanted the cinema to stay.
They felt, however, that as volunteers with day jobs, finding the time, energy and business skill to continue was too difficult.
He told Sunday’s meeting that becoming VAT-registered had punched a large hole in the cinema’s finances.
The Regent would eventually need a new digital projector to show films, replacing its current 35mm projector, and estimates ranged from £20,000-£40,000.
Rising costs of heating, lighting and maintaining a building of the Regent’s size had increased the strain, added Mr Cunningham.
“We as a committee really believe we have come as far as we can, but we really don’t want the cinema to leave, “ he said.
“We believe there is new blood, ideas, suggestions and experience from people who can come on board and move the cinema to the next level.”
Willingess to support the venture also came from food company bosses and others interested in independent cinema, along with other ideas to enhance the Regent as an entertainment venue.
A Facebook page set up by two of the volunteers, Wayne Thomson and Colin Peter, has aready amassed around 370 likes and the pair have been warmly praised for their efforts.
Wayne said if the picture house was definitely saved, he would make it his “personal aim” to go out and seek as many volunteers as possible.