LEIGH'S much-loved and only independent cinema is campaigning for new equipment in order to sustain its future.

Starting out as a small film club out of a cafe in Tyldesley ten years ago, Leigh Film Society has become a hugely respected group over the years, and launched the independent cinema Leigh Film Factory inside Leigh Spinners Mill last August.

Showcasing a wide variety of current releases, classic screenings, and private events, the volunteer-led cinema has become one of the most admired venues in Leigh and has even been shortlisted for prestigious national awards.

However, despite the enourmous sense of goodwill that surrounds the cinema, the team feel that its future will be in jeopardy if it does not supply itself with the latest equipment.

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Leigh Journal: Inside the Spinners Mill cinemaInside the Spinners Mill cinema (Image: Leigh Film Factory)
While the Film Factory tries to show as many new releases as it can, its current setup only allows it to screen films that have eventually made their way onto DVD or Blu-ray, which is often months after the original release.

As DVDs and Blu-rays are becoming increasingly obsolete in the age of streaming, the team is unsure of how long they will be able to operate if they can't get their hands on big releases.

Leigh Journal: The volunteer-led cinema has been created almost exclusively from upcycled materialsThe volunteer-led cinema has been created almost exclusively from upcycled materials (Image: Leigh Film Factory)
This is why the team is desperately campaigning for a state-of-the-art digital cinema projector, which will allow them to show all the latest films as soon as they are released, at a fraction of the price as normal cinema chains.

The new releases will be showcased in addition to the wide variety of films the cinema already screens, and although the team has raised an amazing £10,000 so far, there is still around £30,000 needed to meet the cost of the projector.

Leigh Journal: Leigh Film Society directors, Paul and Elizabeth CostelloLeigh Film Society directors, Paul and Elizabeth Costello (Image: Elizabeth Costello)
Elizabeth Costello, Director of the Film Society, said: "Since launching last year, we have screened current releases, classics, opera, and National Theatre, so we don't have just one audience, it is a cinema for everyone.

"But as we only really have the facility to screen films from Blu-ray, which we don't know the future of, we have realised just how important it is to get this projector.

"The way we can deliver cinema has rapidly changed since we launched and we see this as our only way to compete with other cinemas and move forward.

"Our future depends on it."

Leigh Journal: Volunteers behind the bar of the independent cinemaVolunteers behind the bar of the independent cinema (Image: Leigh Film Factory)
As Leigh Film Factory is a non-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers, the new projector would allow the team to showcase much more releases at much cheaper prices, to retain an affordable experience of going to the cinema.

Fundraising events are planned to help with the project next year, including a 24-hour cinema-thon, and you can donate to the Film Factory's online fundraiser here.