Hopes rising for cinema elevator
Thursday, 27th July, 2017
By Kara de Groot
A campaign to raise money for an elevator for the Silver City Cinema has raised more than $1,500 in 24 hours.
The campaign was created by university student, Sam Norman, who is in town as part of a project to make the Silver City more accessible to the disabled.
He said that since the Silver City Cinema proprietor, John Wren, has spent so many decades lifting the spirits of the city, it seems fair to return the favour with a lift for John.
“A large part of the Broken Hill population is aging and they may need assistance to negotiate the stairs,” Mr Norman said.
“There is a ramp to the lower level of seating but it’s quite close to the screen and there’s limited seating there, a lift will make the cinema accessible to a greater number of people,” he said.
“Everyone’s been so generous with their donations already, at this rate we could raise the money by Christmas.”
Using the fundraising website Gofundme, Sam is looking to raise $25,000 to pay for the lift and its installation, with any leftover money being used to pay for the running and upkeep of the lift.
He said he wants to be sure the lift doesn’t create a financial burden on John or the cinema.
“The quotes we’ve got aren’t impossible, and we’re looking into if there’s anyone locally who can install the elevator, we want it to be done in Broken Hill if possible,” Mr Newman said.
“We’d love to involve local builders and tradies, we don’t want to outsource the work,” he said.
“Ideally we want council to help as well, that would be tremendous and the community would be grateful.
“But of course we have faith in the Broken Hill community, they’re a very generous community and we believe we can reach the target purely through their support.”
Cinema owner Johnny Wren said that while he’d personally funded an access ramp and disabled toilets at the cinema, he’d never even considered a lift due to costs.
He said he was amazed by the proposal and the generosity of the community.
“Disabled people, particularly young people, they need a venue, a place they can go where they feel comfortable and safe,” Mr Wren said.
“This will give them a few hours out to see something like so many people already can,” he said.
“If this doesn’t come to fruition, which I’m determined now it will, it’s entirely for the Broken Hill people and will keep being used by them, which is great.”
Those wishing to donate to the campaign can do so at www.gofundme.com/elevator-the-silver-city-cinema