Lexi Cinema in Kensal Rise launches £150,000 fundraiser to build a second screen for the public.

Staff at a volunteer-run cinema in Kensal Rise hope to raise just under £145,000 so they can open a second screen for the borough’s film fans.

The Lexi Cinema, in Chamberlayne Road, has so far raised £5.900 towards its £150,000 target.

The hugely popular cinema currently has one screen and just 75 seats and is now operating at capacity.

Founder and chief executive Sally Wilton has launched a Spacehive campaign – a fundraising platform created by City Hall that promises to match up to £50,000 in public contributions with its own funds for London businesses.

She said: “The new Lexi Hub will allow us to work with an increasing range of community partners to offer activities which will reach and draw in an even broader range of people from our community.

Ms Wilton received a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, from the Prime Minister David Cameron in 2016 for her charitable work.

The UK’s first social enterprise cinema, The Lexi donates all profits to charity and, since opening its doors in 2008, has been supported by more than 550 volunteers.

The majority of its charity donations go to its project with the Sustainability Institute in South Africa, towards improving the quality of life for people living in Lynedoch village.

Lexi money has helped support many projects including maintaining the village’s crèche, providing school meals, running after-school clubs and activities, as well as developing solar power and water management systems.

Architects at Rise Design Studio in Queen’s Park have worked on a pro-bono basis for the Lexi to come up with plans for a sustainable sunken building to minimise its impact. Solar panels will generate renewable energy to operate the additional screen, and energy use will be minimised through an insulating “green roof” and a windowless screening space to reduce heat loss. Bricks from the boundary wall will be reused in the new build.

Planning permission for the project was granted in the summer of 2019.

To donate visit: spacehive.com/thelexihub

The above article by Adrian Zorzut first published on kilburntimes.co.uk in Jan, 2020.