31 July 2013

Friends of the Coliseum are Down But Not Out! / Ffrindiau’r Coliseum – Fe Godwn Eto!

Firstly, we would like to apologize for the lack of updates on this blog since last year. The reason for this was simple; we had no solid news to report as regards our lease. While it was agreed at last summer’s Coliseum Shareholder’s Meeting that we would be given a 12 month lease, during which time we would follow up on grants, we were never presented with any paperwork which would have made the lease legal. This made an honest update difficult, to say the least, as it left us in an odd position of having been granted the lease without actually signing one. So please excuse our silence over this time. We appreciate all those of you who have contacted us with questions, encouragement and advice over the past year.

Some of you may have heard that the Coliseum held a Shareholder’s Meeting in Porthmadog on the 23rd of July. The order of business was the choice between granting a long-term lease to Friends of the Coliseum (saving the Coliseum) or selling the property. The outcome of that vote was not in our favour and a Sale was voted for. 

This was sad news indeed and we were very disheartened to learn that there are people who do not have faith in the Coliseum. We would like to stress here though, that we learned the vast majority of shareholders DO support our efforts but the majority of individual shareholders do not own the majority of shares. There are a few shareholders with a large amount of shares who prefer to sell the property.   

As the title of this post implies, however, we are down but not out! Although we were not in the room during the voting process, we have learned that the debate was quite animated on both sides, many questions were asked and concerns discussed. Most importantly, we were informed that objections were raised with regard to the legality of the vote. The Directors of the Coliseum are now looking for legal advice about the questions that were raised. So we are again in the precarious position of having no real answers as to our status or our future! 

Despite our awkward position, we intend to continue on faithfully, and with the same conviction and fervor as ever, to save the Porthmadog Coliseum. 

While we may have been silent over the past months, we were never idle. Over the past year we have worked continuously toward the goal of saving the Coliseum and we have made fantastic strides toward that end. Although we never received a legal lease from the Directors of the Coliseum, we proceeded with planning and paperwork. 

With the help of Cynan Jones, a local entrepreneur and successful businessman, we completed a first draft of a comprehensive business plan for the future Coliseum Cinema. This business plan includes not only the requisite information of costs and forecasts but also outlines our plans for a wide range of community oriented events. If we are successful, the Porthmadog Coliseum will not only screen up-to-date films but will also be host to seasonal special events for the community, film festivals, educational outreach, work experience programs as well as working collaboratively with local businesses. 

New architectural plans were drawn up for us by the talented and forward-thinking Huw Meredydd Owen (of Vaughn & Owen). Mr Owen’s plans are practically magical as they manage to transform the current Coliseum from one immense room into a structure that will house two film screens, new toilet facilities, a “backstage” area for any live performances or Q&A sessions, a café and a refreshment stand. And all of this is done without losing original features that make the Coliseum so incredibly unique; the magnificent and quite grand balcony, the stunning ceiling (built by local shipbuilders almost a century ago), all of the original Art Deco touches around the building will stay put. Mr Owen understands perfectly what the Coliseum needs by way of renovation and what needs to remain and he has donated his time and his considerable talents completely free of charge because he believes in the Coliseum!

We were also approached in the past year by Mr Dafydd Wyn Jones. Mr Jones is a local business consultant who has been extremely successful in finding and securing large grants for other local not-for-profit businesses. Having followed our group’s activities since our inception, Mr Jones was impressed by our commitment and our willingness to do the work that needed to be done. Because of his faith in us as well as the viability of the Coliseum he offered his invaluable services to us completely free of charge. Within a matter of weeks he had arranged a meeting with the Heritage Lottery!

The meeting with lottery was a requisite preliminary meeting which is designed for the potential applicant (us) to give a brief overview of the project and its scope and to clearly define the Heritage aspect of the project to the Lottery representative. We have heard many times over that there is ‘no money’ out there in grants for projects of this scope. Because of this, during the meeting Aled LL Jones and Dafydd Wyn Jones were very clear about the wide-ranging plans for the renovated Coliseum and the size of the budget necessary to achieve the goals of Friends of the Coliseum. The Heritage Lottery representative did not foresee any problem with the amount that Friends of the Coliseum are looking to raise. 

We can proudly announce that this preliminary meeting went very well and the Heritage Lottery representative encouraged us to prepare our formal application for submission in September. This is what we are focusing on right now. We are tightening up the business plan and ensuring everything is in place.

Sadly, the only sticking point now is the lease from the Colisuem Shareholders. What we thought would be the simplest part of the process, having the support of the same people who saved the Coliseum 30 years ago, has become the most difficult. When the Shareholders voted two years ago to give us the chance to save it, we never imagined that two years on, having completed all of the necessary steps, that a minority of large shareholders would refuse us the lease in favour of a sale.

We would like to be very clear that we believe a sale of this property would be highly detrimental to Porthmadog. In terms of its location on the High Street and the size of the lot only a large corporation would be interested. We can only imagine the damage that a Pub and Hotel chain or a fast-food franchise could do to countless local business in the area. The Coliseum is an integral part of Porthmadog’s Heritage. It was built almost a century ago by local people; construction men and shipbuilders alike. It is one of the oldest cinemas still standing in the Wales and is a magnificent example of Art Deco which was so popular at the time. The destruction of this priceless treasure in the heart of North Wales would be no less than a tragedy and we are still hopeful to save the Coliseum.

If you are a shareholder or if you know a shareholder, of 1000 shares or just 1, please contact Aled LL Jones at aled.jones@savethecoliseum.com. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 outstanding shares that have not voted on this matter. We understand that many, many people purchased their shares by donating a few pounds into a bucket on the High Street of Porthmadog to save the Coliseum all those years ago. I’m sure they never imagined that almost 30 years on, their donation could still mean the difference between life and death for this cinema… But it does! We need all the help we can get right now by way of votes.

There was also a suggestion that we buy the Coliseum from the Shareholders… and we would be happy to if we had that in our account, but we simply do not. We owe a huge debt of thanks to the local community; our Halloween Party and other local fundraising efforts have been a wonderful success and have extraordinarily allowed us to meet the day to day expenses of running this campaign for over two full years. We certainly cannot thank everyone enough for their generosity and support. 

While these efforts have been hugely successful they have not yet net us the hundreds of thousands necessary to make this large a purchase! So if anyone out there happens to have this type of spare cash lying around and would like to Save the Coliseum, please drop us a line! 

Again, thank you all for your patience and support. We are not giving up just yet and we will certainly keep you updated when there is anything solid to report.

All the best,
The Friends

Yn gyntaf, hoffem ymddiheuro am y diffyg diweddariadau ar y blog hwn ers y llynedd. Roedd y rheswm dros hyn yn un eitha syml; nid oedd gennym newyddion cadarn i’w grybwyll parthed ein lês. Ers iddo gael ei gytuno yng nghyfarfod Cyfrandalwyr y Coliseum y llynedd y byddem yn derbyn lês 12 mis er mwyn cael amser i chwilota am grantiau, ni dderbyniom unrhyw waith papur er mwyn gwneud y lês hwnnw’n gyfreithiol. Roedd hyn yn gwneud y dasg o sgwennu diweddariad gonest yn anodd a dweud y lleiaf gan ein bod wedi derbyn y lês ond heb arwyddo amdano. Felly mae’n ddrwg calon gennym am hynny. Rydym yn gwerthfawrogi bob un ohonoch chi sydd wedi cysylltu gyda ni gyda chwestiynau, anogaeth a chyngor dros y flwyddyn diwethaf.

Efallai bod rhai ohonoch wedi clywed bod y Coliseum wedi cynnal Cyfarfod Cyfrandalwyr ym Mhorthmadog ar y 23ain o Orffennaf. Y bwriad oedd iddynt ddewis rhwng cytuno i roi lês tymor hir i Ffrindiau’r Coliseum (gan achub y Coliseum) neu werthu’r adeilad. Nid oedd y penderfyniad yn un o’n plaid a phleidleisiwyd i werthu.

Roedd hyn yn newyddion trist ac roeddem yn siomedig iawn o ddysgu nad oedd gan rhai pobl ffydd yn y Coliseum. Hoffem bwysleisio er hynny, fod mwyafrif o’r cyfrandalwyr YN cefnogi ein hymdrech ond nad oedd yr unigolion rheini yn berchen ar y cyfran uchaf o’r cyfrandaliadau. Mae llond llaw o gyfrandalwyr gyda chyfrandaliau mawr sydd yn dymuno gwerthu’r adeilad.

Fel mae’r teitl yn awgrymu er hynny, fe godwn eto! Er nad oeddem yn yr ystafell yn ystod y broses bleidleisio, cawsom wybod bod y ddadl yn eitha bywiog o’r ddwy ochr, gofynnwyd llawer o gwestiynau a thrafodwyd dadleuon. Bwysicaf oll, cawsom wybod bod pobl wedi cwestiynu mor gyfreithiol oedd y bleidlais. Mae Cyfarwyddwyr y Coliseum nawr yn chwilio am gyngor cyfreithiol ynglŷn â’r cwestiynau a godwyd. Felly unwaith eto, rydym yn y lle annifyr hwnnw – heb atebion am ddyfodol y Coliseum!

 Er gwaetha’r sefyllfa hwn, rydym yn bwriadu parhau yn driw a gyda brwdfrydedd, i achub y Coliseum.

Er ein bod wedi bod yn dawel yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf, nid diogrwydd mohono. Dros y flwyddyn diwethaf, rydym wedi gweithio’n gyson tuag at ein nod o achub y Coliseum ac rydym wedi llamu ymlaen. Er na chawsom lês gyfreithiol gan Gyfarwyddwyr y Coliseum, bwrom ymlaen gyda chynlluniau a gwaith papur yr un fath.

Gyda chymorth Cynan Jones, dyn busnes llwyddiannus lleol, cwblhasom ddrafft cyntaf cynllun busnes ar gyfer dyfodol y Coliseum. Nid yn unig yw’r cynllun busnes yn cynnwys gwybodaeth drylwyr am gôst a ragdybiwn ond mae hefyd yn amlinellu ein cynlluniau ar gyfer digwyddiadau cymunedol eang. Os rydyn ni’n llwyddiannus, nid yn unig y bydd Coliseum Porthmadog yn dangos y ffilmiau diweddaraf ond bydd hefyd yn cynnal digwyddiadau tymhorol arbennig ar gyfer y gymuned, gwyliau ffilm, prosiectau addysgiadol, rhaglenni profiad gwaith yn ogystal â chydweithio gyda chwmniau lleol eraill.

Diolch i ddawn blaengar Huw Meredydd Owen (o Vaughan & Owen), dyluniwyd cynlluniau pensaerniol newydd i ni. Mae cynlluniau Mr Owen yn hudol ac yn gweddnewid y Coliseum presennol o un ystafell fawr i fframwaith a fyddai’n gwneud lle i ddau sgrîn, cyfleusterau toiled newydd, gofod tu ôl i’r llwyfan ar gyfer perfformiadau byw neu sesiynau cwestiynau ac ateb, caffi a stondin lluniaeth ysgafn. A gellir gwneud hyn i gyd heb golli ar y nodweddion gwreiddiol sydd yn gwneud y Coliseum yn unigryw; bydd y balcony crand, y nenfwd trawiadol (a adeiladwyd gan adeiladwyr llong bron i ganrif yn ôl), y nodweddion Art Deco o amgylch yr adeilad yno i aros. Mae Mr Owen yn deall yn iawn beth mae’r Coliseum angen ei adnewyddu ac angen ei gadw ac wedi rhoi ei amser a’i ddoniau yn rhad ac am ddim oherwydd mae’n credu yn y Coliseum!

Daeth Mr Dafydd Wyn Jones atom yn ystod y flwyddyn hefyd. Mae Mr Jones yn ymgynghorydd busnes lleol sydd yn hynod o lwyddiannus mewn dod o hyd i a chadarnhau grantiau i fusnesau nidam-elw eraill yn y cyffiniau. Ac yntau wedi dilyn gweithgaredd y grŵp ers y dechrau, roedd Mr Jones yn parchu ein bod wedi dangos ymroddiad a brwdfrydedd i wneud y gwaith angenrheidiol. Oherwydd ei ffydd ynom ni yn ogystal â gweld dilysrwydd yn y Coliseum, cynigodd ei wasanaethau i ni yn rhad ac am ddim.O fewn wythnosau, roedd wedi trefnu cyfarfod i ni gyda’r Loteri Genedlaethol!

Cyfarfod rhagbrofol oedd y cyfarfod hwnnw oedd wedi ei drefnu er mwyn i ddarpar-ceisiadau (fel un ni) ddod i ddeall trosolwg o’r prosiect a’i ehangder ac i ddiffinio’r elfen dreftadol i gynrhychiolydd y Loteri Dreftadaeth. Oherwydd ein bod wedi clywed droeon ‘nad oes arian’ allan yna ar gyfer prosiectau mor fawr â hyn, yn ystod y cyfarfod roedd Aled Ll Jones a Dafydd Wyn Jones yn glir iawn ynglŷn â maint y gyllid angenrheidiol i gyrraedd nod Ffrindiau’r Coliseum. Nid oedd y cynrhychiolydd Loteri Dreftadaeth yn gallu rhagweld unrhyw broblem gyda’r swm yr oedd Ffrindiau’r Coliseum yn disgwyl ei godi.

Gallwn ddatgan yn awr fod y cyfarfod hwnnw wedi bod yn llwyddiannus iawn a bod y cynrhychiolydd wedi ein hannog i roi cais ffurfiol i mewn ym mis Medi. Hyn fydd ein prif nod yn awr. Rydym yn tacluso’r cynllun busnes i wneud yn siwr y bydd popeth yn ei le.

Yn anffodus yr unig rwystr ar hyn o bryd ydi’r lês gan gyfrandalwyr y Coliseum. Y mae’r hyn yr oeddem yn rhagdybio y byddai’r peth hawsaf, sef annog cefnogaeth gan yr un bobl rheini a achubodd y Coliseum 30 mlynedd yn ôl, nawr yn y peth anoddaf. Pan bleidleisiodd y Cyfrandalwyr ddwy flynedd yn ôl i roi cyfle i ni ei achub, doedden ni ddim wedi rhagweld, wedi i ni roi popeth yn ei le y byddai nifer fach o’r cyfrandalwyr yn gwrthod rhoi y lês i ni er mwyn iddynt allu gwerthu.

Hoffem wneud yn glir ein bod yn meddwl y byddai gwerthu’r adeilad hwn yn niweidiol iawn i Borthmadog. Gyda chyd-destun ei leoliad yn y Stryd Fawr a’i faint, dim ond busnes mawr fyddai gyda diddordeb. Allwn ni ond rhagdybio y niwed y byddai tafarn neu westy cadwyn neu fwyty byrbrydau cyflym yn ei wneud i’r ardal. Mae’r Coliseum yn ran allweddol o Dreftadaeth Porthmadog. Roedd wedi ei adeiladu bron i ganrif yn ôl gan bobl leol; adeiladwyr a llongwyr ynghyd. Mae’n un o sinemâu hynaf Cymru ac mae’r Art Deco yn enghraifft wych o waith y cyfnod. Byddai dinistrio’r trysor gwerthfawr hwn yng nghalon Gogledd Cymru yn drasiedi heb ei ail ac rydym yn dal i gadw’r ffydd y gallwn achub y Coliseum.

Os ydych chi’n gyfrandalwr neu yn adnabod cyfrandalwr, gyda chyfrandaliad o 1000 neu dim ond 1, os gwelwch yn dda, cysylltwch ag Aled Ll Jones ar aled.jones@savethecoliseum.com. Ar hyn o bryd, mae tua 15,000 heb eu darganfod a heb felly bleidleisio ar y mater yma. Rydym yn deall bod llawer wedi prynu cyfrandaliad drwy roddi ychydig bunnoedd i mewn i fwced ar Stryd Fawr Porthmadog i achub y Coliseum yr holl flynyddoedd rheini’n ôl. Rydym yn siŵr nad oedden nhw’n dychmygu y byddai’r rhodd hwnnw, 30 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach, yn gwneud gwahaniaeth rhwng bywyd a marwolaeth y sinema hwn…Ond mae’n wir! Rydym angen pob gronyn o help allwn ni mewn pleidleisiau yn awr.

Crybwyllwyd hefyd y byddai’n bosib i ni brynu’r Coliseum gan y Cyfrandalwyr…a byddem yn hapus iawn o wneud hynny petai’r arian yn ein cyfrif, ond yn syml iawn, nid fel yna mae hi. Rydym yn hynod o ddiolchgar i’r gymuned; mae ein noson Galan Gaeaf, a digwyddiadau codi arian eraill wedi bod yn lwyddiant ysgubol ac wedi ein galluogi ni i dalu am weithredu’r ymgyrch o ddydd i ddydd dros gyfnod o ddwy flynedd. Allwn ni ddim diolch i bawb ddigon am eu haelioni a’u cefnogaeth.

Er bod rhain yn llwyddiannus iawn yn anffodus, wrth gwrs, ni godom y gannoedd ar filoedd sydd ei angen i brynu’r sinema! Felly, os oes gan unrhyw un arian yn sbâr ac yr hoffen nhw achub y Coliseum, cysylltwch da chi!

Eto, diolch i chi am eich amynedd a’ch cefnogaeth. Dydyn ni ddim yn rhoi’r ffidil yn y to a byddwn yn sicr yn gadael i chi wybod popeth fel ag y gallwn.

Ffrindiau’r Coliseum

14 July 2012

Coliseum Gets a Fighting Chance / Y Coliseum yn cael Cyfle

Fantastic news for the Coliseum and all of the wonderful people who have been so supportive over the past year: Friends of the Coliseum has been given another year!

At the Shareholder meeting, which was held on Wednesday, Aled Jones and Alison Raouf of Friends of the Coliseum gave a presentation to those in attendance followed by a short Q&A. The shareholders then had a private meeting to decide on the fate of the Coliseum. The result of this was that they voted to give the Coliseum more time in which to prepare a full business plan and grant application for funding that might be able to help renovate and reopen the historic and majestic cinema in Porthmadog.

The Coliseum shareholders also elected some new and energetic members to the Board of Directors which we believe can only help make the process run more smoothly. The Board of Directors for the Coliseum have agreed to lease the cinema building to the Friends of the Coliseum for a term of one year. This is not official yet as the finer details are yet to be decided and the dotted line has not yet been signed, but we believe that this is a huge step forward in our quest to see the Coliseum back in business.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to those shareholders that made the effort to attend the meeting and reward our hard work over the past year. Your support means the world to us and we certainly intend to validate your faith in us and make you all proud that you supported our efforts and, more importantly, the Coliseum.

Mae newyddion gwych i’r Coliseum a’r bobl hyfryd sydd wedi bod yn gefnogol hyd yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf: Mae Ffrindiau’r Coliseum wedi cael blwyddyn arall!

Yn y cyfarfod cyfrandalwyr a gafodd ei gynnal ddydd Mercher, gwnaeth Aled Jones ac Alison Raouf o Ffrindiau’r Coliseum gyflwyniad i’r rheini oedd yn bresennol wedi ei ddilyn gan sesiwn cwestiwn ac ateb fer. Yna, cafodd y cyfrandalwyr gyfarfod preifat i benderfynu tynged y Coliseum. Y canlyniad oedd iddyn nhw bleidleisio i roi mwy o amser i’r Coliseum i baratoi cynllun busnes llawn a cheisiadau grant a fyddai o bosib yn gallu helpu i adnewyddu ac ail-agor y sinema mawreddog ac eiconig ym Mhorthmadog.

Gwnaeth cyfrandalwyr y Coliseum ethol aelodau newydd ac egniol i’r Bwrdd Cyfarwyddwyr a chredwn y bydd hyn yn help i wneud y broses redeg yn fwy esmwyth.
Mae’r Bwrdd Cyfarwyddwyr wedi cytuno i roi’r sinema i Ffrindiau’r Coliseum ar les am un flwyddyn. Nid yw hyn yn swyddogol eto gan nad ydy’r manylion wedi eu trafod, ond credwn iddo fod yn gam anferth ymlaen i godi’r Coliseum yn ôl ar ei draed.

Mae lle anferth gennym i ddiolch i’r cyfrandalwyr a wnaeth yr ymdrech i ddod i’r cyfarfod a chymeradwyo ein gwaith caled dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf. Mae eich cefnogaeth yn meddwl y byd i ni ac rydyn ni eisiau sicrhau’r ffydd sydd gennych ynddon ni a’ch gwneud chi’n falch o’n hymdrechion, a bwysicach fyth, yn falch o’r Coliseum.

27 June 2012

A big thanks to the Ring! / Diolch o galon i dafarn Y Ring!

We have received £105.62 from the Brondanw Arms, Llanfrothen (http://www.yring-llanfrothen.co.uk/) and this through the generosity of the local customers who have donated kindly to the Save the Coliseum collection box!

The generous people of the village have also raised £25.60 in The Village Shop.

We would like to give a big thanks to all those who have reached deep into their pockets and we sincerely appreciate all the support.

If you fancy a pint….the Ring is the place to go!

Dan ni wedi derbyn swm o £105.62 gan y Brondanw Arms, Llanfrothen (http://www.yring-llanfrothen.co.uk/a hynny drwy garedigrwydd yfwyr a chwsmeriaid triw sydd wedi rhoi’n hael i focs casglu arian Achub y Coliseum!

Mae pobl caredig y pentref hefyd wedi helpu i godi £25.60 yn Siop y Pentref. 

Ni allwn ddiolch digon i bobl sydd yn rhoi’n garedig o’u pocedi eu hunain fel hyn ac dan ni’n gwerthfawrogi pob cefnogaeth yn arw.

Os am lymaid rhyw dro….Y Ring amdani!

14 June 2012

Date Set to Save the Coliseum / Dyddiad Yn Ei Le I Achub y Coliseum


The date has been set for a special meeting with the Coliseum shareholders at which the fate of our iconic cinema may be decided:

11 July 2012
7.30 pm
Y Ganolfan

Our group, Friends of the Coliseum, has organised the meeting which will be open only to Coliseum shareholders. Over the past year that the cinema has remained closed, we have worked hard and have been quite successful in raising awareness of the plight of Porthmadog's Coliseum and the devastating impact of its closure on the local community. We hope to further illustrate our diligence and convey our commitment to the shareholders at this meeting.

In this important meeting we will be discussing the findings of the Feasibility Study and presenting the shareholders with our ideas for the future of the Coliseum. We have some truly dynamic plans for the cinema and we hope that the shareholders will be as convinced as we are in the viability of the Coliseum. We have every faith that the shareholders cherish the Coliseum as much as we all do and want to remain faithful to their original aims when they first purchased shares in the 1980s with the intention of saving the cinema.

We have every confidence that the Coliseum can be a vibrant and thriving business in the area and, with the inspiring, cutting edge programmes we have in store, will help to stimulate even further growth in Porthmadog.

We urge anyone who thinks they may own shares in the Coliseum to get in touch, whether you are able to attend the July meeting or not. We would also like to distribute the final Feasibility Study Report to those shareholders who are interested in seeing it prior to the July meeting. 

We encourage your participation and need your help in ensuring the future of this majestic building. If you believe that you have shares or can help us locate someone who does, please email us at: admin@savethecoliseum.com.


Mae’r dyddiad wedi ei gadarnhau ar gyfer cyfarfod arbennig gyda chyfrandalwyr y Coliseum a fydd o bosib yn penderfynu ar dynged y sinema eiconig:

11 Gorffennaf
Y Ganolfan

Mae ein grŵp, Ffrindiau’r Coliseum wedi trefnu cyfarfod a fydd ar agor i gyfrandalwyr y Coliseum yn unig. Yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf mae’r sinema wedi bod ar gau ond rydyn ni wedi gweithio’n galed ac wedi bod yn eithaf llwyddiannus o ran codi ymwybyddiaeth am frwydr y Coliseum ym Mhorthmadog a’r effaith enbyd y ffaith ei fod wedi cau ar y gymuned leol. Rydyn ni’n gobeithio dangos ein dyfalbarhad a chyfleu ymrwymiad at yr achos i’r cyfrandalwyr yn y cyfarfod hwn.

Yn y cyfarfod pwysig byddwn yn trafod darganfyddiadau’r astudiaeth ddichonoldeb ac yn cyflwyno ein syniadau ar gyfer dyfodol y Coliseum i’r cyfrandalwyr. Mae gennym gynlluniau deinamig ar gyfer y sinema ac rydyn ni’n gobeithio y bydd y cyfrandalwyr mor sicr ag yr ydyn ni o ddilysrwydd y Coliseum. Mae gennym bob ffydd bod y cyfrandalwyr yn caru’r Coliseum cymaint ag yr ydyn ni ac rydyn ni eisiau parhau yn ffyddlon i’w nod gwreiddiol pan brynon nhw eu cyfrandaliadau yn yr 1980au gyda’r bwriad o achub y sinema.

Teimlwn yn hyderus iawn fod y Coliseum yn gallu bod yn fusnes byrlymus i’r ardal - gyda’r amserlenni ysgogol a chyfoes sydd gennym dan sylw yn helpu i roi hwb i dyfiant Porthmadog.

Rydyn ni’n ysgogi unrhyw un sydd yn meddwl fod ganddynt gyfrandaliad yn y Coliseum i gysylltu, os ydyn nhw’n mynychu ym mis Gorffennaf ai pheidio. Byddem hefyd yn hoffi dosbarthu’r Adroddiad Astudiaeth Ddichonoldeb orffenedig at gyfrandalwyr sydd gyda diddordeb yn ei gweld cyn y cyfarfod ym mis Gorffennaf.

Rydyn ni’n annog eich cydweithrediad ac angen eich help i sicrhau dyfodol yr adeilad mawreddog hwn. Os ydych chi’n meddwl bod gennych gyfrandaliad neu’n gallu ein helpu i ddod o hyd i gyfrandalwyr, os gwelwch yn dda, e-bostiwch ni ar:

17 May 2012

Diolch, Lowri! / Thank you, Lowri!

Cultural Commentator Ms. Lowri Haf Cooke was the host of the recent Carmarthen Bay Film Festival. After the festival she posted a wonderful piece about her experience on her blog. Please take the time to have a look. 

For those of you unfamiliar with the Welsh language, we have included a translation below.

Y Sylwebydd Diwylliannol Lowri Haf Cooke a gyflwynodd yr Ŵyl Ffilm Bae Caerfyrddin yn ddiweddar. Wedi'r ŵyl postiodd y darn hyfryd hwn am ei phrofiad ar ei blog. Os gwelwch yn dda, cymrwch yr amser i'w ddarllen. 

I'r rhai ohonoch sydd ddim yn siarad Cymraeg, mae gennym gyfieithiad yma.

(photo by Simon Boughton)

Over the weekend I had a brand-new experience – hosting a film festival awards ceremony!

The first ever Carmarthen Bay Film Festival awards ceremony was held at Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli. This is one of the only Welsh film festivals that show films by film producers from Wales, and it was a very special night for one film producer from North Wales.

Llinos Griffin from Porthmadog won three awards – the first for Best Welsh Language Film for Llais yr Andes- that follows the Welsh community of Trevelin in Patagonia, and the second for Ysbryd y Coliseum/ Spririt of The Coliseum, and the third for the same film, that scooped the evening’s biggest prize, Best in Festival.

There were over 40 entries in all of the categories, and the judges were amongst those who presented the awards.

In their midst, TV personality and film reviewer Gary Slaymaker, the international Dance DJ from Wales, Neil Navarra, who has just produced the soundtrack for a new film adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel, Ecstacy – and the multi-talented actor, Syr Wynff ap Concord y Bos himself - Wynford Ellis Owen.

The evening’s winners with judge Wynford Ellis Owen and festival chairman Kelvin Guy. 
(Photo by Simon Boughton)

It was a fun-packed night, with so many young filmmakers – many of them students – receiving great recognition.

The film that scooped the best overall award is a unique production that follows the history of a cinema that was the centre of entertainment in the town of Porthmadog since 1931, until it closed last year.

Many local residents took part to gather sweet memories about the films that were shown there including A Hard Day’s Night in the mid-60’s that inspired a whole audience to get up and dance, the frantic screening of Rocky IV in 1985, that according to Aled Llewelyn Jones went “berserk”. Also mentioned is a recent showing of Mamma Mia that caused the audience to sing and dance to Abba’s greatest hits, this following a queue the whole way down to the Royal Sportsman Hotel to try and get in.

As one local female participant, Gwen Jones mentions, she had the opportunity to watch all kinds of characters in this cinema: “Cowbois, Indians, Romans, Soldiers, Vikings and that one who ate blood, what was he called… Dracula!”, and an advert by a local company “Warws Beddgelert” left its mark too.

If you would like to see the closest thing to a Welsh Cinema Paradiso that you can get, then allow 10 minutes of your time to watch this captivating short film on youtube and it includes a priceless soundbite from Ryan Kift, that offers the best reason yet why the cinema should be re-opened:

“A place like this is so important to small towns because there’s nothing to do except for smashing old grannies’ windows and stealing pic ‘n’ mix from Tesco...so a place like this will keep people off the streets, so that the elderly people of Porthmadog can sleep better at night.”

For more information about the campaign to re-open the cinema, go to www.savethecoliseum.com