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£47k makeover for Stoke Film Theatre

Stoke Film Theatre has been transformed, thanks to a £47,000 grant.

The College Road venue successfully bid for the cash from Stoke-on-Trent City Council's Community Investment Fund.

The theatre was established in 1974 and is a non-profit, volunteer-run cinema, the only one in the city that offers a diverse, non-mainstream film culture.

It now has 50 volunteers who put on up to 200 screenings a year in the single screen auditorium with a seating capacity of 214.

The grant has been used to upgrade old equipment which has been failing.

They now have a new screen, new curtains, new lights and new surround sound system.

Beth Walton, who has been volunteering at the theatre since 2012, said: "It was opened in 1974, and a lot of the equipment was from then.

"There's just been a massive upgrade and refresh.

"Once you are inside it is absolutely beautiful and the curtain makes a big difference as well - it really reminds me of the old ABC in Hanley!

"What we like about it is that it has a retro feel, which fits in with a lot of the films we show. 

"We have a big focus on European and world cinema, as well as independent British cinema. 

"To see a lot of the films we show, you would have to travel to Manchester, Derby, Birmingham or even further.

"We love films and we love Stoke.

"I think it is really important for us to have this local hub where you can see something more unusual, and meet like-minded people."

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