THE cinema at Penarth Pier Pavilion is set to be used for pop-up cinemas and film clubs and societies in future, it has been announced

Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited made the announcement on Thursday, November 9 and has claimed that it now has the basis for a "viable and sustainable" future for the building as it looks for a way to use the cinema that "does not present a risk" to the charity. 

It comes in the week when questions were raised by resident Andrew Jones about the re-opening of the cinema to regular public screenings which was due to happen just after the summer months.

Questions were raised over the management of the pavilion in March this year when PACL announced a reduction in the number of opening days and the closure of the cinema.

It sparked a number of public meetings in the town organised by campaigner Nicki Page and then town councillor Phillip Rapier to explore ways to save the pavilion.

But as the building approaches the fourth anniversary of it being open to the public following its £4 million restoration, Penarth Arts and Crafts Limited which manages the pavilion has said it has undertaken months of planning and discussions with a range of individuals and organisations including the Vale council leader John Thomas and cabinet member for learning and culture Bob Penrose.

In April, PACL received a grant of £126k to be used exclusively to develop a more sustainable business model for the pavilion and to secure external professional advice on all aspects of its operations.

A statement from PACL read: "We have been looking at how we can best make use of the auditorium/cinema going forward in a way that does not present a risk to the charity and we have been in talks with a local pop-up cinema, Snowcat Cinema about presenting a series of cinema events. 

"Snowcat has been involved in cinema screenings at the Paget Rooms, All Saints church as well as venues in Cardiff. 

"The first screening was a Halloween special in half term on the October 30 and 31. Two further screenings are scheduled for November 14 and 28 and it is hoped to have special screenings for Christmas. 

"We are very proud of what has been achieved during that time ( the four years), with a wide variety of events and activities taking place. 

"This milestone in the life of the restored Pavilion provides us with an opportunity to look forward and to lay out our ideas for the future."

PACL says it has undertaken a detailed evaluation of its main commercial activities whilst giving attention to the need for the Pavilion to continue as an important facility for community activities.

PACL says there will be a significant increase in the commercial hire of the premises, particularly for weddings.

It will continue to put on a variety of exhibitions but the emphasis will be on local art as far as possible as well as promoting art amongst certain disadvantaged groups such as those with a disability.

There have been changes to the cafe with help and advice received from Kasim Ali, the owner of the Washington Tea Rooms and other similar facilities across Cardiff. 

The statement read: "We are most grateful for the contribution of Kasim and members of his staff and are confident that the changes which we have made and will continue to make will result in this aspect of the Pavilion becoming a cafe of destination."

A new cafe manager has been appointed and a new menu set.

A cook and food preparation assistant are being recruited and PACL is looking at setting up pop-up cafes, inviting Vale and Cardiff chefs to come and take over the cafe for an evening to present themed menus with the first of these on November 11.

They've also announced a series jazz nights, the first of which took place on November 4, featuring students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama leading up to Christmas as well as two choral event.

The statement concluded: "The success of our operations within the Pavilion to date have only been achieved through the efforts of a small, dedicated staff group, the involvement of the board of trustees, the majority of whom are themselves residents of Penarth, and the on-going support of a group of loyal volunteers."

A new part-time volunteer co-ordinator has been appointed to work exclusively with the pavilion.