Cinema-goers in Longridge are preparing to rally-round to purchase a piece of history.Advertisement
The Palace Cinema in Market Place has been family run for the last 40 years.
With a brew and the national anthem before films it is a local institution.
One screen and seating for 193 the cinema owners are retiring and looking for new owners – with an asking price of £300,000.
Sue Singleton, who has shared the advert for the cinema on Facebook, said: “The cinema has been part of the local community for many years – it truly is a rare business opportunity for the right person to carry on the tradition or to put their own stamp on it.
“There are some structural repairs needed reflective of a building of this age – the selling price would take this into account.”
Read more: A cinematic history of Preston
A civil servant Ruth Smith is preparing to launch a campaign to take the building into community ownership.
The 46-year-old said: “I firmly believe that The Palace Cinema is an excellent opportunity for a community funded project for our town. By retaining this unique facility for our children and our community it would keep our children in the village and would boost the community facilities for all.
“Our older generation especially don’t want to slep to Preston/Blackburn to watch the latest hit. They want to watch it in the comfort of their local community and walk safely home or enjoy a short car/bus ride home,
“I would be looking to set up a crowd funding page and a business plan supported by our local businesses. As a professional project manager I would be happy to lead but would be looking for support from the local community and businesses/council to help me in this endeavour.
“I have lived in Longridge for 46 years and enjoyed this facility as an individual and with my family as I know the majority of my friends and family have.”
Anyone interested in joining the effort to buy the cinema can message Ruth via Facebook.
Longridge is one of the oldest surviving cinemas in the country. The building was constructed in the 1860s as a weaving shed and was then converted into a music hall, cinema, roller skating rink and bingo hall before returning to its present use as a cinema and theatre.