FILM fans in Northwich say they would love to see their beloved cinema brought back to life.

A groundswell of support has been prompted by cinema enthusiast James Crompton’s dream to reopen the Regal, reported exclusively in last week’s Guardian.

The 24-year-old asked what the community would think of the cinema reopening and whether people would help to run it.

He has been inundated with support from former cinema staff, an accountant, teachers and police, among others.

“It’s been a very positive response,” he said.

“Now I’m looking at starting up an action group and hoping to organise an informal get-together where anyone with an interest could sign up to help.

“It would be a huge task – the building would need a lot of work.

“Without running before we can walk, let’s see if we can get a group together first, meet regularly and get the owners on board.”

Insp Paul Loughlin, from Northwich Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said he would be keen to see the cinema reopened.

“It would give young people somewhere to go,” he said.

“It would be a safe place to go and may encourage other businesses to open.

“I would be really pleased if something like that happened – it would be ideal.”

The Regal, in London Road, closed on January 6, 2007, more than 60 years after it opened.

Plans have been suggested for the site as part of Northwich Vision, including apartments or a hotel, and the Guardian contacted Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) to find out the status of the plans.

Ian Callister, CWAC spokesman, said: “We would be happy to meet with Mr Crompton to talk about his plans to reopen the Regal Cinema, on the understanding that we have a development plan with respect to Baron’s Quay, which does include provision for a state-of-the-art cinema.”

But James is not put off by the thought of a modern cinema coming to town.

He said: “What multiplexes tend to do is test the water first – they will say they’re coming to see what the reaction will be.

“I must say, people are also getting used to multiplexes now, the novelty has worn off.

“People want more characteristic, independent, older cinemas with an atmosphere and cheaper prices.”