Dulverton’s lovely medieval Town Hall is an ideal venue for a film
society, it's large upper room which has a stage and a bar area can seat more
than 100 people comfortably.The building
itself had a feature part as the dance hall in David Leland's 1988 hit film
"The Land Girls".
In the 1940's the Town Hall became the Dulverton Cinema providing
twice weekly shows so successfully that the owners wanted to
build a permanent projection box.The
Ministry of Works at the time wouldn’t give permission to build this addition
unless it was of national importance as materials were in short supply.However when 6,000 American troops arrived,
camping out on Winsford Hill, Dulverton Cinema's film shows were at full capacity and a new
application for permission to install a projection box was granted.
With the help of a small army of Americans, Fishers Building
Contractors installed a steel girder across the rear of the hall and the raised
projection box was built by an American Master Sergeant and Mr Fred Puttock, a
carpenter at Fisher’s. The box was finally completed in 1944 just before the
troops left the area for the D-Day landings.
The film shows lapsed after the war and despite its cinematic
history Dulverton Town Hall had not used its facilities for regular film showings for more
than half a century, apart from a brief spell in the 1970s when it was used by a
film society. In 2010, Town Hall Committee members Jan Ross and Christine
Dubery teamed up with Victoria Thomas of the Regal Film Society in Minehead to
launch "Dulverton Films".A
large retractable screen was incorporated into the stage and an early digital
projector installed in the original projection box fed by a then state of the
art Blu-Ray player.
The Town Hall Committee is very grateful for all the financial
support which made the 2010 project possible. A grant was donated by the
Somerset Community Foundations’ Grassroots Fund, and Dulverton Development
Forum. Dulverton Players also contributed to the total cost of the new
Dulverton Films has continued as a very successful enterprise for
six years now and has recently upgraded its film presentation facilities both
sound and vision, initially inspired by a brand new HD digital projector given
as a generous grant by the British Film Institute.
Everyone who comes to see films at Dulverton Town Hall can feel
that they are part of history.