The Grade II listed Malt Hall in Hampshire has been saved from closure by a community fundraising initiative and a new digital projector.

The historic cinema at Lymington Community Centre – the only cinema in the New Forest town – was almost forced to close to the public after running out of funds last year. Loyal cinema enthusiasts and local residents ran a Save Our Cinema campaign and achieved the funds necessary – with help from a £25,000 grant from the town council – to buy a new digital projector.

The cinema was struggling to cope with its ageing, unreliable projection equipment and a new digital projector was desperately needed, in order to ensure that it was able to play new releases, which are only available in digital format.

Community centre manager, Penny Bicknell, told the Daily Echo: “It’s absolutely fabulous – the screen quality and sound is incredible and we can now compete with other cinemas in Southampton and Bournemouth. People’s generosity has been amazing and it shows the strength and depth of feeling in the town to save this facility."

The first film to be shown on the new projector was action comedy Red 2 starring Bruce Willis.