Romney Marsh finally welcomes a Cinemarsh

The lights go down the curtains part… the rest is usually dictated by a director’s vision, barring a few too many advertisements of course.


But all the adverts in the world couldn’t subtract from the untold joy of being able to return to those special darkened rooms for a couple of hours of unadulterated popcorn filled escapism. The cinemas finally, after the longest absence since their creation, returned earlier this year to much fanfare but for the people of Romney Marsh the wait for a trip to their local cinema has been a lot longer.


Fears for the future of cinemas were raised during streaming services mighty rise a couple of years ago but in 2019 before COVID reared its tickly throat, cinema goings were at the highest they been since the 60s, proving that despite the home offerings the cinema had that magic allure. Despite that the same concerns for cinema’s future were raised again in lockdown when auditoriums were left barren and bare for six months. Cinemas have always been accessible, even during the outbreak of World War Two when the government were fearful of air raids and forced cinemas to shut, the public outrage was too strong and Chamberlain had no choice but to open them a week later.


Mark Kermode, our nation’s greatest Film Critic speaking on the future of cinema said “that streaming services and cinemas can live together, people will always want to see certain movies in a cinema. It is an event, but it’s also a communal thing”. Finally, for the community of Romney Marsh, cinema can be a communal thing, as Cinemarsh has finally opened its doors and there’s plenty of reasons to visit as Jason tells CommunityAd.


So, Jason first things first, just how good does it feel to be open and fully operational?

It feels great. A mixture of excitement and relief. The project has been six years in the making and there are many times when we’ve wondered whether we could actually make it happen. Obviously, we were so close to opening just as the pandemic hit, so to finally open our doors has been just fantastic.


What has the reaction from the community been like to Cinemarsh?

We’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible feedback from everybody that has visited. I think a lot of people have been genuinely surprised at just how good Cinemarsh is. We have a brilliant quality auditorium and a really friendly and welcoming team of people here. Our vision was always to make the movies accessible to everybody and our pricing structure reflects this. It’s been incredibly satisfying to rekindle people’s love for the cinema – many of our new patrons haven’t been to the movies for years, so to be able to welcome them to their new cinema has probably been the most satisfying bit for me.


What’s your role within the company and what do you enjoy most about it?

I’m the Manager of the Marsh Academy Leisure Centre, where Cinemarsh is based. Like many of the staff here, I’ve been here since we opened, over twenty years ago. For me, the most enjoyable thing about working here is that we are always looking at projects to bring new opportunities to the community. The Leadership Team and Governors at the Marsh Academy are massively supportive of our efforts and, over the years, this has allowed the leisure centre to thrive and evolve. Cinemarsh is a perfect example of this.


Why’s it important for a thriving community such as Romney Marsh to have access to the arts?

I think the arts can be transformative. They can take you beyond your day-to-day world and allow you to return with a different mood or a changed perspective. A great film has the power to do this, and the real beauty of cinema is that it all becomes a shared experience. This especially so with a smaller cinema and we’re very proud to be able to provide local people with the opportunity to experience this on their doorstep.


Winter is all about cinema visits, isn’t it?

As the nights draw in and the weather turns colder, there’s certainly less to do in the evenings and at weekends. Traditionally this is the busiest time of the year for cinemas, but we hope that the allure of the movies can be a year-round thing.


With a backlog of big blockbusters set to be released, there’s no better time than the coming months to visit the cinema is there?

Absolutely. The major film studios were, understandably, reluctant to release their big-money titles until restrictions on audiences were lifted. Although we were obviously disappointed not to be able to launch Cinemarsh when we had originally planned, we are lucky in some ways as there is now a whole host of fantastic films being released, one after another. Movie fans have never had it so good!


What Christmas film would you recommend all readers watch?

There’s always a debate at this time of year as to whether certain films are Christmas movies or not. My own favourites are probably Die Hard and Trading Places, but both of these might not qualify! A safer bet would be something like Elf or Home Alone and we’re showing both as part of Cinemarsh’s Christmas classics this December.


Find out more and book tickets at Romney Marsh’s new, finally local Cinemarsh via the website today.

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