By William Mata

Rusthall Community Cinema will be fitted with sound equipment worth £5,000 after winning a grant for funding.

The popular village group, which contains 60 members, was presented with the cheque from finance firm OneFamily, as part of its Community Awards.

With the funding, the cinema, which shows two films a month, will replace its second hand audio equipment with a new sound system.

Eugene Gardner, who founded the project two years ago, said the money will boost the cinematic experience for members – who vote for the films shown.

“The new audio equipment will mean that anyone who comes to visit us can have a better cinematic experience.

“Over the past two years it’s been a huge hit with the local community, so much so that we’ve been able to increase the number of showings to two every month.”

The cinema shows around 20 films per year on various Saturdays, with the screening followed by a discussion.

Mr Gardner launched the project in 2016 after finding out about how a volunteer-run cinema can enhance a community.

The Rusthall group operates as a charity and caters for those who may otherwise find it hard to get to the pictures by offering free transport.

Local musicians and filmmakers are also encouraged to contribute while local charities are also invited to promote themselves.

Mr Gardner added: “The biggest misconception we come across is that we offer the same as a commercial cinema, and having already seen a film is a good reason to not see it again.

“In fact ours is a different concept from commercial cinemas and film societies.

“Films are chosen by popular suggestion and vote, are preceded by an interesting related entertainment, and followed by a fascinating discussion for those who want to stay.”

The club charges £4 for each film or £40 for a one year season ticket.