‘I want Leyland to have its own cinema’

James Crompton is campaigning to open a cinema in Leyland
James Crompton is campaigning to open a cinema in Leyland

An ambitious film fan who has helped bring cinemas back to life in other areas wants to do the same for his hometown - Leyland.

James Crompton wants to get a group of volunteers together to open a cinema which would show all the latest films and be open six nights a week.

The 27-year-old, who lives off Leyland Lane, has worked on similar projects elsewhere, and says the idea is very achievable.

“It’s actually easier than ever to open up community cinemas these days,” he said. “It just needs people to support it.

“It doesn’t require big pots of money - you can start off small and get grants along the way.

“It just needs people to get involved, and I think the people of Leyland would really back this.

“It’s a chance for the town to show that we can do something for ourselves.”

The scheme would involve setting up a cinema in an existing building in the town, with all the money generated going back into the project to get the latest films and maintain the facility.

It’s likely there would only be one screen, and a new release could be shown every night for three to six nights, depending on its popularity.

James said: “We have to be realistic. I don’t think we could get a multi-plex on board because that’s too expensive, but I really think there’s a demand for a cinema in Leyland.

“Admission prices would be cheaper than the bigger places, and the snacks would cost less too.”

He added: “South Ribble Council has a community cinema set up in the Civic Centre, but that only shows films every once in a while, so this would be different.”

There used to be three cinemas in Leyland at one point - The ABC Regent at the top of Hough Lane (where Asda is now), which burned down in the late 1940s; the Palace on East Street, which showed silent movies and was demolished in 2001; and the Green’s Hippodrome which was at the site of the existing Leyland and Farington social club, which James said used to ‘rattle’ in strong winds.

James, who is a film projectionist and church organist, and also volunteered at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum for a number of years, now wants to get a group of people together who are keen to help with the potential project.

“I’ve got my eye on some sites which would be ideal,” he said. “But I really need some support to show that this is a serious campaign, and that people are willing to back it.

“I want to do something to help my hometown, and it’d be great to bring a proper cinema back to Leyland.”

- If you would like to know more or to get involved, contact James on 07963 495453 or jc.organs@gmail.com.

- What do you think about the plans? Email kay.taylor@lep.co.uk