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TV’s paranormal team helps cinema embrace new digital era

TV presenters from the ITV series The Paranormal 5 will be helping Frome Westway Cinema step into a new digital era with a special fundraising event on Saturday 16th February. 

Called Paranormal Activity True, the event will give people an insight into all the strange and ghostly activity that occurs within the cinema, thanks to cast members Andrew Carter, Samantha Carter, and Ray Jorden.

The TV presenters – who aim to prove or disprove the existence of paranormal activities in both public and residential locations – are stepping in to help the independent family-run cinema raise the funds to buy the equipment the cinema needs to go digital. With 35mm film being phased out in the coming months, purchasing the new equipment is imperative if Frome’s much-loved cinema is to remain open.

While the digital technology will allow the cinema to bring a wider range of titles to the town, it also creates the challenge of raising the capital to install the new equipment – with a brand new system costing in the region of £80,000 and a second-hand system still costing £25,000-£30,000.


Discover ghostly goings on in “a cinema with soul”


TV presenters Andrew and Samantha Carter recently visited the cinema and say they were immediately struck by the unique character and history of the building, in what they described as “a cinema with soul”. Having heard about the plight of the cinema in raising the capital for the new equipment, they agreed to hold the special event to help the appeal.

Taking place on Saturday 16th February, ticket holders are promised an insight and experience like no other before. Andrew, Samantha, and Ray will introduce the night, while two stage mediums, Pete Tomlinson and Steve Howell, will give a mediumship demonstration to the audience. This will be followed by the exclusive showing of the hit movie Paranormal Activity 4. A question and answer session will also take place. Cinema owner Martina O’Connor has already informed the TV presenters of the strange and ghostly activity that occurs in the building, and the evening will include a ghost hunting experience of what a paranormal investigation involves.

Four VIP booths will be available, which will include some complimentary drinks and automatic places for the late night ghost hunting experience. Those who are avid ghost hunters are welcome to bring their own equipment. A raffle will also take place with some great prizes, with all proceeds going to the digital cinema fund. For further information on this event, please contact The Westway Cinema in Frome for ticket prices and further information (The evening is rated 15 due to the film’s content).


Embracing a new digital era


Frome Westway Cinema has been using 35mm film since Dennis and Dolores O’Connor bought the cinema in the 1980s. Now their daughter Martina, who now owns the cinema, is steering the cinema into a new digital age.

With a far greater range of films available on digital, Martina says that going digital will bring a new range of titles to the cinema, but says she hopes to keep the old film projection equipment on show at the cinema to retain its heritage and is confident that the atmosphere of the unique local cinema will not change.

Martina said, “35mm film is actually being phased out, so everybody has no option but to make the change. It is piling on the pressure – the film companies no longer want to make 35mm because it’s cheaper for them to make digital. Being the old-fashioned person I am I like 35mm, it’s a more artful form and lovely to watch, but going digital means it will be high definition. It should make it easier for us to get all sorts of films – for example there are films from the past that they only keep copies of in digital.

“The cost is quite scary, as we’ll probably have to take out loans to buy the equipment. The cinema breaks even most of the time but it’s not a lucrative business because of the high percentage the film companies take of the ticket money.”

With the support of the people of Frome, the digital fund has raised £4,000 so far with more fundraising events and activities planned for the coming year. Martina said, “I would like to thank everybody for their support. We’re keen for people to use the cinema as much as possible – to come and see films, or use it for conferences and events during the day.”

For more on events and upcoming films (which include Les Miserable and The Quartet) visit or call 01373 467 088.

Pictured: front row L-R: Projectionist Jay Bowers, The Paranormal 5’s Andrew Carter, Samantha Carter and Ray Jorden. Back row L-R: Owner Martina O’Connor, medium Steve Howell, Annette Amey who will be assisting during the show, and medium Peter Tomlinson.