CINEMA lovers could be going to the pictures in Northwich town centre before the end of the year, if a community project goes according to plan.

Gillian Edwards, from Northwich Cinema Trust, outlined the group’s dreams to reopen the Plaza as a heritage cinema when she gave a talk at Northwich Community Forum on Thursday.

“Realistically we could be open in six months,” she said.

“I’m hoping that by the end of the year we might be watching films in the Plaza.”

The group was originally set up to try to reopen the former Regal cinema until the Plaza closed its doors as a bingo hall in 2011.

The Grade II listed Plaza was built in 1928.

“It’s a beautiful building at the top of town, which was originally built as a cinema,” Gillian said.

“We want to operate it as a community cinema, completely different to a multiplex cinema – I’ve stressed that point because many people think the Plaza and multiplex are at loggerheads and perhaps swords are drawn.

“That couldn’t be further from the truth.

“The two can co-exist, the whole ethos of a community cinema is that it’s owned by the community and we want to make it about the cinema experience.”

Gillian explained that the Plaza would be run by volunteers, which would keep ticket prices low, and would operate on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, being available for community use at other times.

The trust has submitted its registration papers to be a community interest company and once that is set up it can open a bank account.

Projection equipment has been donated to the trust but the building itself still needs an expensive re-wire.

The trust board is made up of volunteer professionals but Gillian said it needs the volunteer services of a solicitor if anyone was willing to help.

To get involved in the Plaza project email