Future is bright at Chorley Little Theatre despite looming closure of town's premier film club

Ian Robinson outside Chorley Little Theatre
Ian Robinson outside Chorley Little Theatre

It’s the end of an era for Chorley's premier film club – but the future is expected to bring bigger and better things.

Chorley Little Theatre has announced that the Chorley Empire Community Cinema – formerly Chorley Film Society – is coming to an end on the first Sunday in October.

Chorley Little Theatre in 1975

Chorley Little Theatre in 1975

The community cinema group, which was once known as the Chorley Film Society, will show its last film on October 6; the anniversary of when it was founded 33 years ago in 1986.

READ MORE: Looking back at 60 years of fun packed entertainment at Chorley Theatre
Ian Robinson, director of Chorley Little Theatre, said: “It’s the end of an era really. It is quite sad.

"It was formed after the old Plaza cinema closed in the summer of ‘86 and the idea was that it would carry on until we get a regular cinema – we didn’t think that would be 33 years later.

"A lot of people are still involved from back then, so now feels like a suitable time to call it a day.”

But films at the theatre will not finish for good, with Ian taking over showings going in to the New Year when it is renamed Chorley Theatre.

“We’ll take on operating and showing films,” explained Ian.

“At this point we’re not sure what prices will be, that will have to be set in reaction to Reel.

“But we’re going to have two stages soon inside with even more going on; we’re hoping to get in to that very soon.

“It will have a bespoke cinema screen.

“The main room will still be the biggest in all of Chorley and is still going strong after 120 years. We’ve all the latest technology.”

News that the club is ending has come as plans for Chorley’s new six-screen cinema, brought to town by Reel Cinemas, will be opening in the expanded town’s Market Walk shopping centre in December alongside a new bowling alley and mini golf facilities.

Muhammad Faisal, Head of Operations at Reel Cinemas, said: “I can’t tell you how excited we are to be adding this new site in Chorley to our existing network of 14 cinemas.

“Reel Chorley will be a truly premium experience us with a combination of Premiere and VIP auditoria while still being affordable for the whole of the community.

To celebrate the history of Chorley Empire Community Cinema, the final showing on October 6 will be All Is True, directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh.

The film is being shown in homage to the first film the club ever showed, Henry V – also directed by Branagh.

The evening will have complimentary refreshments as part of the celebration.