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Phoenix Cinema: Fundraising meeting hears venue needs £50k by end of financial year to stay in the black

PUBLISHED: 09:07 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 21 November 2018

Locals are campaigning to save the Phoenix Cinema. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Locals are campaigning to save the Phoenix Cinema. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Archant

The Phoenix Cinema is looking for £50,000 in donations by the end of the financial year to avoid a loss, or its trustees could look to pursue a deal with the Curzon Cinema after all.

Speaking after a fundraising meeting on Saturday, trustee Alison Gold admitted the trust needed to be more transparent, said footfall was down in October when the cinema was in crisis, and it is set to offer new rates for people aged under 26.

Some 80 people were at the meeting on Saturday afternoon where trustees and staff heard the public’s ideas for keeping the cinema afloat.

Alison told the Ham&High trustees need £50,000 by the end of March to keep going.

“It would mean we might end the year in the black, depending on what trading is like over the next few months,” she said.

“We have said that if we go under £25,000 in the bank, then we will have to proceed with a deal as that’s equivalent to a month’s wages for staff, and something we can’t fall below.”

The cinema has had some “major” donations already, with one donor giving the cinema £500.

“We’ll be making the donations page more prominent on our website to encourage people to give,” said Alison.

“We’re very grateful for the donations already, and we are going to approach some of our patrons to seek their support.”

However, Ms Gold said the trust hasn’t been able to contact the Save the Phoenix campaign group, who crowdfunded more than £5,600 to “save” the venue.

“We want to talk to them about how it can be used to help guarantee the cinema’s future,” she said.

“We’re tried to contact them but they haven’t responded. We want to know if they will put it towards the cinema and the costs.”

A spokesperson from Save the Phoenix said: “We’re in contact with them and we are looking forward to working to support the cinema’s continuing independence.”

As part of its new attempts to drive up custom, it will offer a new ticket price for customers under 26.

They’ll be able to watch screenings on a Monday to Friday for £5.

The trustee, who lives in East Finchley, said the trust will also be more open going forwards. “We are keen to be more transparent,” she said.

“At the meeting in October, people said they were surprised and didn’t know there was any problems.

“There is no point keeping this stuff secret and assume that it is all OK.

“We’ll be releasing more information to keep people up-to-date and be clear with the community.”

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