Generous members of the public have been chipping in with donations to help towards the cost of a major development at Keswick’s Alhambra cinema.
The cinema has also received a number of other smaller pledges from local people which has added up to another £1,000.
Director Carol Rennie described the show of support from people as “just incredible” at a time when the cinema needs help to get it through the coronavirus crisis.
Such has been the show of support that the cinema now has plans to put a donate button on its website where people can contribute £10 to buy a brick or £20 towards the cost of a window and generally just make it easier to pledge.
Part of the work will see the opening of a second, smaller screen and a revamped foyer as well as the creation of a new bar.
External improvements are to be made which will involve the original brick facade being repointed and windows repaired, including two circular, stained-glass ones at the front.
The work received a setback after small traces of asbestos were discovered beneath floorboards which has delayed the project by three weeks but Carol said the cinema would re-open ahead of the release of the next James Bond blockbuster No Time to Die, which is to go on general release on September 30.
Meanwhile, the Alhambra has received a business sustainability award of £9,747 in the second round of the culture recovery fund from the British Film Institute and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
It means that over the three rounds of funding, the small, family-run cinema in St John’s Street has received a total of £38,383.
Carol described last Friday’s award as “a bit disappointing” when considering all the work that went into the detailed application and because the cinema had applied for more than it had received.
But she added: “We’re incredibly thankful for these funds and particularly as a very small business, for the support of the UK Cinema Association and the British Film Institute, who have made the case for specific funds for independent cinema and have lobbied hard for our sector.
“We have had to work for our money, however. The extremely detailed financial reporting and forecasting we’ve had to do for these awards has been immensely taxing and time-consuming.
“In many ways, the way Allerdale Borough Council has been administering funds to small businesses has been much friendlier, and we are equally grateful to Allerdale for the extremely streamlined and simple process by which they have been awarding funds under the various support packages for businesses.”