Seats selling fast for fundraiser in Laois theatre under restoration

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Mountmellick Community Arts Centre

Mountmellick Community Arts Centre

Mountmellick Community Arts Centre in Laois is undergoing a big renovation and a local woman has started a popular fundraiser to raise €22,500 to help secure its future.

Cathy Bishop who is on the centre's committee, has launched a Seat Dedication fundraiser.

It offers people an opportunity to dedicate one person's name on one of the 450 seats for €50, with a certificate to keep. A framed map will go on permanent display showing the name each seat is dedicated to.

“It's a gesture to show our pride and gratitude and in the process, create a small pool of funds to ease the road into the future when the doors are reopened. This place holds many memories for us all,” Ms Bishop said.

She launched it on June 21 and within five days almost half the seats have been snapped up, by locals and by people abroad with cherished memories of the cinema. Many are in memory of lost loved ones.
“It's going fabulously, I am overwhelmed at the response. The stories are flooding through,” she said.

See her video about the fundraiser below.

The parish owned centre opened as a cinema in 1951. The renovation of the main hall and exterior is mostly funded by a €100,000 grant from the Town and Village Renewal Scheme. It is getting new floors and carpet, paint and wallpaper, heating, fire and security systems. 

"There will be no need for anyone to leave town for a night out once it is restored. It is a wonderful theatre that is spacious and warm, and it will be ideal for big events with packages for local restaurants, bars and accommodation," she said.

Ms Bishop praised “the trojan work of the Community Arts Centre Committee and the local Community Employment Scheme” all hard at work to make the most of the funding awarded.

To dedicate a seat, contact her on 086 1289262, or click on the GoFundMe page here.