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‘It’s a wonderful experience’ - success of cinema manager’s befriending service

PUBLISHED: 17:12 19 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:12 19 November 2020

Abbeygate Cinema manager Pat Church  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Abbeygate Cinema manager Pat Church Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The face of cinema in Bury St Edmunds has said his lockdown Mondays befriending service “makes me feel good too!”

Pat Church and colleague Chris  Peters outside the Abbeygate Cinema Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNPat Church and colleague Chris Peters outside the Abbeygate Cinema Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

‘Chat with Pat’ was launched by Abbeygate Cinema manager Pat Church at the start of this month in response to the second national lockdown, which closed the venue’s doors.

Concerned that some patrons faced loneliness, Mr Church launched the phone chat service that runs on Lockdown Mondays from 2pm-4pm.

MORE: Legendary cinema manager will be on the end of the phone during lockdown

Monday, November 16, saw the manager - who has worked at the Hatter Street cinema for 55 years - take 11 calls during those two hours.

He said: “It’s a wonderful experience being able to chat to our regular customers and patrons who are feeling a bit lonely at this time.

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“Most of them I knew but there were some new voices too and it was nice getting to know them. I can’t wait for when we can open and welcome people again but in the meantime, this is just something lovely to be doing for our customers and it makes me feel good too!”

MORE: Legendary showman Pat Church is on a mission to save cinema

Andrea Holmes, marketing manager, said the Chat with Pat befriending service was “proving a success”.

Previously, she said: “Pat has a wealth of knowledge about the cinema and is a great storyteller. What better way to take away the Monday lockdown blues? Enjoy a ‘Chat with Pat’.”

Mr Church said people could help support the cinema by purchasing gift cards, which would also give customers something to look forward to.

•Anyone who would like to ‘have a chat with Pat’ can call 01284 754477 on lockdown Mondays between 2pm-4pm.


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