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Fletcher Priest takes to the silver screen

Fletcher Priest has got the go-ahead to refurbish the last remaining newsreel cinema still operating in Britain.

The practice will refurbish Tyneside Cinema's News Theatre to make it resemble its 1930s incarnation.

The cinema's management believes the work will enable the public to enjoy an experience of a newsreel archive not available since the 1960s.

Mark Dobson, Tyneside Film Theatre Trust chief executive, said: 'The Tyneside Cinema is one of the UK's best-loved independent cinemas and has a special place in the lives of so many people, both in the region and beyond.

'We are thrilled that we will be able to restore this unique piece of British heritage and at the same time expand and extend the building so that we engage ever more people with independent film from across the world.'

The Heritage Lottery Fund announced yesterday that it had pledged £3 million towards the cinema's renaissance.

Mike Figgis, the Newcastle-born film director and patron of the cinema, added: 'This a very significant moment for the Tyneside cinema and for the North East.

'The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the importance of the cinema as an artistic institution with its roots in the past but also with a clear vision for the future.'

by Rob Sharp

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