The team at a vital cinema have issued an appeal to all lovers of film to get “bums on seats”, and have a good, old fashioned trip to the flicks to keep the community staple going.

After being saved from closure back in 2011, with a campaign backed by former Penrith and The Border MP, Rory Stewart, the Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema is once again asking for the public’s support.

And Dr Neil Hudson, the current MP for Penrith and The Border, is fully behind the Penrith cinema’s latest campaign, which is encouraging anyone and everyone to visit the popular attraction and give it a much-needed boost.

Dr Hudson said: “Like so many others, I love movies.

“Going to see a film is like a journey which from start to finish is always exciting, and now of all times it is nice to escape into a different world.

“Small independent cinemas like this provide such a wonderful experience and they are a vital part of our communities.

“We must all do what we can to ensure we do not lose this fantastic asset to our town.”

During his visit to the cinema, Dr Hudson met with assistant manager Joe Watters, discussing the team’s concerns about the business’s future following financial struggles due to coronavirus, as well as public safety concerns.

Mr Watters said: “We've seen a bit more support from the town, and that's been fantastic, but it's already starting to drop off, which is a bit of a worry.

"With everything that's going on it's just about getting people feeling confident and comfortable again.

"I'm completely confident in the safety measures we've got, and all our staff are wonderful – we're in a much better position than in 2010 and 2011 in that sense, because we couldn't have better people behind us."

He continued: "I remember being a bit nervous when we were planning the safety measures initially, but we've had no [Covid] cases come back to the cinema so far, and we're really happy with how everything's going.

"It's just about giving people that sense of normality – you see a few wobbly, nervous faces coming in, but as soon as they sit down and relax, it's just such a good way to escape and feel at home again."

And while the support has been great so far, Mr Watters said it's vital that it doesn't end.

"It really is about getting bums on seats, and seeing more people come along," he said.

"It's a 'use us or lose us' situation right now, and we're adamant that the town won't lose us, but we do need support – and we can't thank everyone enough for all the help we've had so far."

Following the visit, Dr Hudson said: “I want to thank Joe for showing me around this amazing cinema and to see all the innovative work they have done to make going to the movies a safe experience.

“It has been very tough times for them with the big releases getting delayed, but they have got some great showings and I really urge people to go and support this fantastic cinema.”