THE Regent Cinema in Leven is urgently seeking new funding in order to stay open.
Operator Leven Community Cinema this week made the plea for people to use the Commercial Road building or risk losing it, just over two years after opening.
Sandra McKeen, chair, cited the community group not owning the building, instead renting it at a cost of £10,000 per year, as one of the major factors, as well as “astronomical” maintenance and heating bills.
She told the Mail: “We still feel the cinema is a great thing for Leven to have but, at the same time, we have to be realistic as well. We are still putting as much effort as we can into it but if we don’t get bums on seats then we can’t pay our bills, unfortunately.”
“We are actively seeking funding because, basically, without funding from somewhere the cinema can’t continue. It’s really that bad. We are struggling to try and keep the cinema going.
“All I can say is we have the lease until the end of December and what happens between now and then is anybody’s guess.
“Our wish would have been to buy the building ourselves but that’s looking less and less likely because of the circumstances.
“We don’t have money to buy the cinema and, with the change in council and change in members, it has influenced things a little bit, as it’s a new start again. With funding everywhere being so tight, we are just investigating as many possible things as we can.
“We would love it if somebody out there could come on board and help us a little bit more, as we have got enthusiasm, but none of us has got real business acumen.”
The cinema building is currently owned by Raphael Properties, which is actively trying to sell it.
The building failed to sell, with an asking price of £120,000, at a recent auction and is due to appear again in the near future.
In a bid to try and raise some money, the cinema group is holding a meeting on June 28.
It has invited a number of local businesses to attend to look at ways of creating a “mutually beneficial” relationship that would allow both the cinema and other businesses in the community to grow.
Mrs McKeen continued: “The ideas have been ongoing for quite a few months to try to think of ways that we can raise money.
“It’s a catch-22 situation, as there are funding grants available for renovations but not for buying the building itself.
“If we weren’t paying out on the lease every year, we would be able to tick over quite nicely.”