The Curzon Balcony opens to the public 31 Jan 2023

After a 50 year wait the public will at last be able to return to the Curzon’s famous balcony

 

The heritage cinema’s balcony was shut away from public gaze in 1972, when film-going had slumped in popularity and purse strings were being pulled very tight by the 3-day week. For decades the beautiful, curving structure gathered dust, becoming a storage site for the many vintage projectors collected by enthusiasts over the years.

 

 

A few lucky people were able to get a glimpse of the balcony on the Curzon’s historic tours, but other than them, it was left to people’s memories.

 

Now, thanks to a successful funding campaign, with nearly £80,500 raised by generous local donors, the balcony is ready to open its doors.

 

 

The new look for the balcony was conceived by CEO Susannah Shaw and Bristol Architects, Dittrich, Hudson Vasetti, and features a variety of seating, ranging from traditional flip-up seats to laid-back sofas. All the seating has been re-purposed. The flip-up seats are original to the Curzon, and the sofas and armchairs have been sourced from Clevedon’s Changing Lives and Bristol’s Sofa Project. In all cases they have been completely re-upholstered, to comply with modern fire regulations, and covered in sumptuous velvets, offering a luxury experience for customers.

 

Other items restored for the balcony include the original 1920 chandeliers and the louvered lighting to light the steps and walkways. These restorations have been carried out by the cinema’s dedicated volunteer maintenance team who give many hours of their time and talent to keep the Curzon in good shape.

 

The main benefit, as well as the new angle from which to view the screen, is space. People will have generous seating with a table for their drinks and snacks, and room to stretch out and relax. A bar is planned for the balcony lobby, but for now, customers can bring their drinks up to the balcony just as they can for the main auditorium.

 

On Friday 10 February, the balcony will be opened for a classic, pre-Valentines, screening of Roman Holiday, featuring a live jazz trio outside the Oak Room Bar from 7pm-8pm. Roman Holiday is the perfect classic film to capture the excitement of the historic balcony re-opening: starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in a classic tale of love and vespas, in 1950s Rome, now restored in 4K.

 

Susannah Shaw, Curzon’s CEO, said: “We are so grateful for the town coming together, once again, to help the Curzon realise its potential. We now have a watertight roof and a beautiful balcony; the cinema is beginning to resemble the original 1922 building conceived and built by Victor Cox. We have a vision of the interior being completely restored and redecorated, but that will have to wait until funds are once again in place.”

Full details and timings of all our screenings can be found on our website – www.curzon.org.uk.