Roof Repair On Historic Cinema Nears Completion

The oldest continually operating cinema in the UK, the Curzon Cinema in Clevedon is nearing completion of the repairs to its leaking roof, which has seen over 12,000 terracotta tiles replaced, and structural repairs.

The Bristol Post reports that the £650,000 roof renovation, which began in February and was paused in April during the coronavirus lockdown, is due to be completed in September, and the cinema will re-open its doors in October. The lockdown meant that the cinema was forced to close for the first time since it opened in 1912.

When the leaking roof became a serious issue, trustees decided they could no longer wait to undertake repairs and secure the future of the historic building.

The work was partially funded with £239,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), as well as from the lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund, as well as several trusts and foundations.

Further funding of £130,000 was raised by the local community in a ‘Tag A Tile’ appeal, as well as an Art on the Tiles initiative that raised £28,000.

Not only has the work seen all the old tiles taken off and replaced by hand, but there have been major repairs to the structure. Bracing has been installed between the steel roof trusses, and stonework has been restored. Some areas of the roof have needed to be completely rebuilt.

There has been re-pointing of the brickwork and repairs to the chimney, as well as skylights installed for improved light and ventilation.

A spokesperson for Curzon said that the next stage of the project will be the restoration of the tin panelling in the roof of the auditorium, a unique feature only seen in the cinema.

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