Meeting over Hebden cinema

FANS of Hebden Bridge Picture House will get the chance to discuss its long term future at a meeting on March 3.

It could lead to the Friends of the Picture House group being reformed and a bid being made for community ownership of the building.

“Although it isn’t directly under threat at the moment, local authority cuts could threaten it in the future. Now is the time to start thinking about securing it,” said the Mayor of Hebden Royd, Robin Dixon.

The meeting has been arranged by the town council, Hebden Bridge Partnership, the town’s Community Association, the Arts Festival organisers, the Ground Floor Project and the four rural parish councils.

The meeting is due to be held at Riverside School at 7.30pm.

Talks have already been held with Calderdale Council about transferring the Picture House into community hands and details of how such an arrangement might work will be outlined at the meeting.

“There is an enormous pool of public support for our cinema and we know that a lot of people will have ideas about how we can protect its future, develop, improve it and make it an even better community resource,” said Coun Dixon.

Some basic principles have been agreed which include ensuring that the cinema continues to be a public resource, managed in a democratic and transparent way; that the current mix of film programming is maintained, and that the jobs of the staff are safeguarded.

It will continue to be used for community events.