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Issued: June 15, 2016

Council backs Epping Hall cinema idea
Epping Hall is set to host a trial film screening after the town council supported a proposal to use the venue as a community cinema.

Local resident Susie Evans, who works as curator at the Barbican cinema, put forward proposals to the town council saying Epping Hall was "the perfect place" for film showings.

She has suggested test screenings to gauge support and interest in an 'Epping At The Movies' initiative with three screenings on one day - a family screening in the morning, a 'classic' matinee and "more mainstream" evening showing.

She told Tuesday's council meeting: "It's in the heart of the town, would be fantastic addition to the town and would be a much needed leisure attraction. It would encourage community spirit."

Susie added: "There is such a solid history of organisations (in Epping) and it would be a really great way of complementing them. It would be wonderful to have your (town council) support for the idea."

Councillor Hugh Pegrum, whose only concern about the idea was the long-term future of Epping Hall as part of the St John's Road redevelopment, said: "We've been waiting for about 15 years for someone like you (Susie) to come along and organise something like this!"

Councillor Jon Whitehouse said: "I think this is well worth supporting.

"I think it's worth a punt. If a cinema is built on the wider (St John's Road) site we have not lost anything. It all seems very well thought out."

Councillor Nigel Avey said: "I think we should be bold and get on with it. I think we should take this proposal with two hands and get on with it."

The council has agreed in principle to waive the hall hire charge for a day early next year for a test screening.

During the town council's evidence gathering for the Neighbourhood Plan 74 people stated that they wanted a cinema in the town while seven requested more arts and culture.

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