Restore the glory @ Keswick Alhambra Cinema

by Carol Rennie in Keswick, England, United Kingdom

Restore the glory @ Keswick Alhambra Cinema
We did it
On 27th June 2019 we successfully raised £13,832 with 347 supporters in 42 days

You've helped us restore and light the antique tin panelling and cast iron radiators: click below left FB project link for progress updates.

by Carol Rennie in Keswick, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We never imagined we'd get here, but having raised the £9,000 to get the radiators and panels stripped and renovated, any amount raised towards our stretch target will allow us to go ahead with the installation of lighting to highlight the newly-gleaming features (uplighters on the columns, and small light strips highlighting the wall panels and radiators.)

The next phase would be to get the boarding taken down from the balcony to expose the original metal plates up there, and reinstate them, if they are still serviceable (or maybe we'd move our focus to the foyer instead). That won't be for a while though! In the meantime, Carol is exploring some creative ideas for the balcony frontage - I will let you know on the update page if anything happens there! 

Thank you so much to all you wonderful people who have helped us get this far: we're really taking the Alhambra into its second century in style! 

The Keswick Alhambra, established in 1913, is a little gem of cinema heritage: one of very few UK picture houses to have remained in continuous operation for over 100 years, with many original features and fittings still intact. We are completely independent, family-owned and operated, and run on a shoestring but with much love: read more about our history on our website.

Do you love your local cinema, are you one of our community of regular visitors, or have you enjoyed our free tea and coffee, shop-priced confectionary and wonderful atmosphere just the once? Maybe you simply want to help keep characterful old cinemas alive and thriving?! Here's why we are asking for donations:

We are going to have the ceiling repaired and repaint the auditorium in its original heritage colour in June this year (we replaced the leaky roof two years ago), which is going to cost over our budget of £15k. We also have an estimate of £9k for restoration of the original cast iron radiators and metal panelling around the building, which are currently buried under a century's worth of paint. Of course it makes sense to do that at the same time, while the cinema is shut, but we can't afford it to do it all: that's where you come in. With your help, we'll be able to have that lovely original burnished-gold decor exposed. Once we get that lit, the Alhambra will look truly glorious! (Rob Grange photography in the above photo makes the auditorium look much more glamorous than it actually is at present. Scroll down for more photos) 

Either make a simple donation, or choose one of the various 'purchase plus donations' on offer: tickets, Friend of the Alhambra discount cards, inscription, special tours or private screenings just for you - take a look.

Please note: there is an 'Optional tip' button asking you to donate to Crowdfunder in addition to this project - it gives a suggested %. However, you can select 'Other Amount' and choose £0, or any other amount you wish to give -  unfortunately we have had one or two donors who didn't realise this and gave more to crowdfunder than they would have done if they'd known how to do this.

For more information, or if you wish to make a larger donation, or discuss other arrangements we might make for you in return for your donation, please contact us directly: 017687 72195 or [email protected]

Thank you so much for your help.

PHOTO 1: this is what the radiators look like after a bit of chipping of the many layers. We need a professional to finish the job! 


PHOTO 2: This is what the radiators look like underneath the paint. This small one is hidden away in the old ticket office, so was spared the layers!


PHOTO 3: these panels are also metal, and will be the same burnished gold as the radiators when they're stripped!


PHOTO 4: This is what the lower walls actually look like without the fancy photography! 



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£7 or more

46 of 50 claimed

Keswick Alhambra branded mug

Add our Keswick Alhambra mug to your collection, so you think of our free tea and coffee every time you have a brew! Only available for collection in person (we are trying to make money rather than spend it!)

£10 or more

9 of 100 claimed

1 ticket for a standard film

One ticket for any standard-priced film July 2019 to Aug 2020.

£20 or more

45 of 50 claimed

2 tickets for a standard film

2 tickets for any standard-priced film July 2019 to Aug 2020

£20 or more

11 of 100 claimed

2020 Friend of the Alhambra Card

Buy your 2020 Friend of the Alhambra card early (one complimentary ticket for immediate use, plus £1.50 ticket discount on every screening in 2020).

£40 or more

7 of 50 claimed

2 special event tickets

2 tickets for any live event/special screening July 2019 to Aug 2020

£50 or more

2 of 4 claimed

Bonus £50 Inscription and 2020 Friend card!

Adding additional £50 inscription and Friend cards, as don't want to turn anyone down who wants to donate in exchange for this!!

£100 or more

12 of 50 claimed

Behind the scenes, inscription, 2020 Friend card

Inscription on our "wall of supporters", 2020 Friend of the Alhambra card (with one free ticket for immediate use), and invitation for up to 5 people to a screening of "Lights, camera, Alhambra..." and a guided tour of the cinema and its hidden original features by Carol and/or Alan Tom Rennie, who has run the Alhambra for a quarter of its 105-year-old history. We will host a series of these events as numbers demand, at various dates in 2019/20

£500 or more

2 of 4 claimed

Host your own cinema event/party

3-hour venue hire, to include licensing of the film of your choice, and up to 240 guests for your very own private screening - for a party, a present, a charity event, or to reward your clients - offer valid till end 2020, date and time to be mutually agreed with the Alhambra, and subject to our ability to secure the film print and licence for the screening. If we can get the film quad poster, that's yours too!

£50 or more

50 of 50 claimed

Inscription and 2020 Friend of the Alhambra card

Inscription of your name on our "wall of supporters" plus your 2020 Friend of the Alhambra card (with one complimentary ticket for immediate use and £1.50 off all tickets in 2020)

£150 or more

6 of 6 claimed

'Golden ticket' stalls seat reservation

With your golden ticket, we will hold your favourite seat for you until 10 minutes before every standard-priced film: mum will create a special reserved sign just for you, so you will never find your favourite seat usurped. (You still have to pay for your ticket though!) Stalls only, but speak to us if you have a yen for a balcony seat that is not one of our most commonly used seats, as some might be possible...

Got an idea like this?

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