Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Electric Palace supporters celebrating the successful fundraising © Annie Mannion

Electric Palace supporters celebrating the successful fundraising © Annie Mannion

Hastings saves Electric Palace from closure

The Hastings community have come up trumps yet again. Through nervousness around Covid, lockdown and social distancing restrictions, the Electric Palace was heading towards closure. A fundraiser was launched and has saved the much-loved Electric Palace from closing its doors for good. HOT’s Lauris Morgan-Griffiths, a supporter, is much relieved and amazed at Hastings’ generosity – as are the founders of the cinema.

Hastings people have dug deep into their pockets yet again and saved our extraordinary town’s film fans’ asset. The last time I looked the fundraiser had exceeded the £15,000 target and raised £17,815. It is evident that people feel passionately about having somewhere to see independent, art house, world cinema, classic and local filmmakers’ films, alongside a programme of live music, comedy, theatre and club events.

Now they are able to plan for the future – and they hope to open fully in April.

As founder Rebecca Marshall says, “Many people mention one of the things they love about the Electric Palace is our programming. Our broad spectrum of films and events delight, entertain and challenge our audience.”


You can have your say in a short survey to help the Electric Palace management know your preferences for types of films, documentaries, comedy, music, you’d like to see and the sort of times you’d like them programmed.

They have learnt over the past year how much people  love the  film events that include special guests, live music, and even cabaret. Energised by the support they have rcceived, they hope to programme more of these extra activities as well as political and social discussions around issues from climate change to women’s rights, not to mention brunch-time clubs and community use events.

Marshall explains: “An important part of our intimate venue is the opportunities it gives for conversations, laughter and debate with our friends. We are proud that for more than 19 years, using films and documentaries as starting points, we have plugged in to Hastings’ annual cultural and community calendar.”

The Electric Palace is a very special place with a rich and colourful history which has brought so many people together. It now has a future thanks to the generosity of the Hastings community. This is the cinema’s 20th anniversary. Now they really have something to celebrate.

Events in February and March

I watched Drive My Car, the film made inspired by a Haruki Murakami short story, in the Electric Palace’s Virtual Screening programme until February 14. After seeing quite a few of the TV and Netflix box sets recently, this was a welcome change; it was slow, reflective, interesting, and with a cast of great characters. Excellent.

Coming up in February there is a series of exciting events. Further one-off events will be annnounced soon – check here for details – including a small festival for International Women’s Day in March before the cinema fully reopens in April.

On Valentine’s Day Eve here is a live music, spoken word and poetry fundraiser Love and Other Disasters.

On Sunday 20 February there will be a fun evening of comedy with a sixties classic, Father Came Too. The cast says it all, with Sally Smith, Hugh Lloyd, Stanley Baxter, Leslie Phillips. Ronnie Barker and James Robertson-Justice. The showing will be followed by a Q&A with actress Sally Smith and film historian Dr Adrian Smith.

On Friday 25 February Printed Matter Bookshop presents Rough Cut And Ready Dubbed, plus book launch and Q&A with DJ Wendy May. The film documents the vibrant post-punk period between 1978 and 1981, including the rampant tribalism of the era. Also there are two B Movie fan club classics, The Haunted Palace  on 27 February and The Oblong Box on 27 March.

To further support the cinema you can hire the venue for parties while the venue remains closed – such bookings are really helping to keep it going. You may also be  interested in becoming a Friend of the Cinema.

Read a previous HOT article about the cinema here.

If you’re enjoying HOT and would like us to continue providing fair and balanced reporting on local matters please consider making a donation. Click here to open our PayPal donation link.

Thank you for your continued support!

Posted 20:01 Wednesday, Jan 26, 2022 In: Film

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