Dave Harris is just a couple of weeks into his new job as manager of the Wellesley and already buzzing with enthusiasm and ideas for the town’s much-loved cinema. Dave has a real passion for cinema’s heritage.
“If your readers have any information or photos from the Wellesley’s 80-year history then I’d love to hear from them,” he said. “I’m really impressed that it’s so well preserved. The Wellington Arts Association [who actually own the building and lease it to Merlin Cinemas] have done a fantastic job keeping it spick and span. And it’s great that it is a theatre as well.
“Events like Christmas at the Wellesley a week or so ago are a brilliant example of how this cinema can be a real community hub as well a place to see films. But I can’t organise that much myself, so I’m going to be relying on Wellington people coming up with ideas.”
One reason that Dave’s time is a bit limited is that he is also manager of the Tivoli in tiverton. “I just regard it as a split-screen cinema with the screens 10-miles apart,” he joked.
Dave began his cinema career at the 100-year old Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, a very heritage-intense venue. “A bit older than the Wellesley but quite similar in terms of its period feel,” said Dave. “And they have a 35mm film projector – as we do. But I’m not at all sure of the chances of getting ours working again.”
If you want to contact Dave with memories or images of the Wellesley you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org