Well needed upgrade help for 'The Poly'
- Digital | Film
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society, better known as The Poly, is a thriving Falmouth-based arts venue which plays host to film, live events, exhibitions, lectures and workshops. Looking to upgrade their cinema facilities, they were helped by a 'Technical Ambassador' though the Independent Cinema Office Technical Skills for Digital Exhibition, which received backing from Creative Skillset’s Film Skills Fund.
The cinema first opened in 1910 and is rightly considered a hub of the local community. General Manager, Lesley Robinson, explains how the scheme helped the venue implement a cutting-edge technical upgrade.
What guidance did the Technical Ambassador provide The Poly?
"We had already made the decision to ‘go digital’ but lacked the technical knowledge to be sure of what would best serve us. We received a visit from Ewan Dunford, Technical Manager at the Watershed in Bristol and one of the ICO’s Technical Ambassadors. We discussed the cinema’s digital upgrade and Ewan helped us decide what equipment would best serve our space and budget.
"I wouldn’t have been able to make the final decision as to our upgrade with the same level of confidence without Ewan’s advice. The scheme worked really well for us! I would absolutely recommend it to any venue looking for technical expertise when considering upgrading their equipment."
How have the improvements effected the cinema?
"Simply everything is improved – the whole package! We now have vastly improved sound and picture quality, and the ability to screen films from DCP, whereas previously our only options were 35mm, DVD or Blu-Ray. Previously we had to work around when physical prints of a film were available, but the upgrade has given us access to new films immediately on release – so we have much more flexibility as to when we programme screenings."
What plans do you have for the cinema in the future?
"We hope to begin nurturing new audiences, but more important to us is the ability to maintain our current audience by offering them the widest selection of titles, and the best possible quality. Additionally there are several new projects already in development, including taking part in the UK Green Film Festival in May and working as a member of the BFI Film Hub. Given our greater access of a wider variety of films, we hope to be able to further increase our programming in the future."
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