Deeside.com > News
Posted: Thu 10th Dec 2020
This article is old – Published: Thursday, Dec 10th, 2020
A family who own the Gaumont Plaza in Flint discussed their journey in reopening the cinema with elected representatives last month.
The Gaumont Plaza has been around since the late 1930s, but closed its doors in 2011 after seeing periods of disuse.
In 2016, father and son Ashley and Alejandro Whyatt visited the Grade II listed building with Councillor Ian Roberts where parts of the roof had collapsed over the balcony.
Following the visit the Whyatt family decided to invest in the building with the ambition of bringing cinema back to Flint for the community to enjoy.
The cinema reopened in December 2016 and has become a source of entertainment for the area, regularly showing new releases on their three cinema screens.
Speaking on the progress of the cinema, Councillor Ian Roberts, Flintshire County Council Leader, said: “I was present when the Whyatt family visited the cinema back in 2016 and am very grateful to the family for their investment in the cinema in Flint and for bringing cinema back to the town for the first time in 40 years.
“To have a cinema in the community is something we will always be grateful for.”
At the end of November the Whyatt family met with Delyn MS Hannah Blythyn, Cllr Ian Roberts and local ward representative Cllr Michelle Perfect to discuss the family’s journey in reopening the cinema as well as challenges faced this year.
Like many businesses the Gaumont has been impacted by the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and, although the doors have had to remain closed, the cinema has been able to access financial support to keep the business going.
Grants from the Welsh Government, administered by Flintshire County Council, have meant the cinema has not been forced to close their doors permanently.
Ms Blythyn said: “This year has presented us with a variety of challenges across all aspects of our lives, particularly our ability to socialise and spend time with family and friends.
“I’m pleased that following significant investment from the family themselves, the Welsh Government has been able to provide financial support to the Gaumont Plaza, to ensure that the cinema will continue to be a valued asset to the community of Flint.”
Most recently the cinema has received funding from the Arts Council of Wales, provided by the Welsh Government, which was specifically targeted at keeping independent cinemas afloat.
The Whyatt family gave their thanks for the support received during the pandemic, saying: “We are grateful to the Welsh Government for all their support.
“It has been our pleasure to return cinema to the town of Flint and we hope our customers are as pleased with our efforts as we are.”
Indoor attractions currently remain closed in Wales in a further attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but more info on the Gaumont Plaza can be found by visiting www.cinemaflint.co.uk.
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com