ACTING stars Christopher Eccleston and Matthew McNulty are among five big names to back a new independent cinema coming to Leigh.
Built by community volunteers, Leigh Film Factory is set to become a reality in the next few months as Leigh Film Society implement their long-term vision at Spinners Mill after a two year delay as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Salford-born Eccleston and Atherton’s own McNulty have been joined as patrons for this society by Shameless’ Ben Batt, and former Coronation Street actress Sacha Louise Parkinson as well as former MP for Leigh Jo Platt. All five of them have given their backing to the cinema which hopes to provide a real alternative to Cineworld in the town.
The Park Lane site will look to host different types of events and festivals dedicated to film and bring cinema to those who previously found it unattainable due to high prices.
Elizabeth Costello, development director at Leigh Film Society, said: “People don’t have to go to Manchester or Liverpool, they can come to Leigh and see high end films. We want to put on events like autism friendly showings and Scandi film nights for the true film buffs. We also want to put on the blockbusters as well though. Over the years we have been doing this we have put film before profit.
“We want to make sure that cinema is for everyone. Film is for everyone, if you have a disability or are less well off, we want you to be a part of it.”
The team at LFS want to push peoples film choice boundaries a little, offering a mix that includes classics, foreign language, art house and films that most have likely never even heard of. The not-for-profit society was founded in 2013, growing steadily over the years, and the community members who run it want more people to get involved in the cinema that is all for them.
After the Covid pandemic, the group have seen their budget tightened for the building of the cinema – which is likely to cost around £50,000. Because of this, they have launched their ‘Sponsor a Cinema Seat’, which for £100 would see the sponsor forever connected to the community-built cinema.
The new cinema at Spinners Mill will host the Wigan and Leigh Film Festival at the end of September where the society looks to celebrate and showcase up-and-coming talent from across the world. The festival will screen everything from comedies and dramas to documentaries and animation.