Some 11 or so years ago, Chiddingfold Village Hall used to show films on a monthly basis courtesy of “Movies on the Move” which proved to be very popular. However in 2008, the continuation of the cinema by the Village Hall was threatened as the running of it was becoming too onerous for the Village Hall Committee and there seemed to be nobody willing to take on its management. Both Georgia and Matthew Lacey were shocked and disappointed to hear this and were very keen not to let the operation fold altogether. Matthew, who felt passionately about cinema, was luckily in a position to step in, deciding that if other people could organise community cinema, why not have a go. And so they did! With the continued success of the cinema, in 2011 the Village Hall decided to invest in its own equipment to show the films and this was duly installed. This seemed to be a natural time to end the association with “Movies on the Move” who decided to focus on their own area (Sussex).
Starting pretty much from scratch, Matthew more or less single-handedly set up what is the now the very successful and popular Chiddingfold Cinema. Over the last eight years we have seen a wide variety of films and attracted some large audiences who have all been greeted warmly and made to feel welcome, with Georgia’s homemade cakes proving to be an additional temptation and “must have” attraction. Without Matthew’s energy, knowledge and enthusiasm our cinema would not have thrived.
Matthew has also been an inspiration to other local community cinemas, such as Plaistow Entertainments Rural Cinema. He has given valuable advice and helped others wanting to set up their own community cinemas such as Ben Bray of the extremely successful Shere Village Cinema.
After 8 years at the helm, Matthew and Georgia have now both decided to step aside from their leading roles. As a result, between September - December 2018, Chiddingfold Cinema will be entering a transition phase as we try to learn the ropes in our efforts to keep the candle burning and attempt to fill some very big shoes! As ever, both Matthew and Georgia have promised their support and will always be available for advice as and when required. The new team will officially start in January 2019.