A SEASIDE town is to open its first cinema.

Saltburn Community and Arts Association has borrowed equipment from Northern Film and Media but is hoping to obtain funding for a permanent cinema at the Saltburn Community Theatre, in Windsor Road.

Arts developer and promoter Wilma Gardiner-Gill, who is behind the idea, said: "I came to the area fairly recently and when I saw the theatre with its beautiful Victorian interior, I thought it would make a great cinema so I started to try and get funding."

The premiere at the new cinema, which will show art films rather than blockbusters, will be The Pianist on Thursday, October 23, at 7.30pm.

A pilot scheme will continue for another four weeks, but it is hoped that the association will be able to keep the temporary equipment for longer or secure funding for a permanent cinema.

Ms Gardiner-Gill said: "We want to prove to the agency we are applying to for funding for a permanent cinema, which will cost around £18,000 to £19,000, that what we are proposing is feasible,"

"We hope that once we have had a few screenings, people will come to us and ask for certain films, for example foreign films."

People wanting to watch a film at the Saltburn Community Theatre will initially have to join a recently formed film society and a nominal fee will then be charged per film.

The cost will be £1 for adults and 50p for children to join the society and the cost per film will be £2 for adults and £1 for children.