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27
Opened in October 2008, all Lexi The Ritzy or The Lux, and it also
Cinema’s proceeds are donated to The happens to be my daughter’s nickname.
Sustainability Institute eco-village in The bar, “Josh on the Rocks”, is named
South Africa. Sally now commits time after my son’.
to working with and supporting the
A How did you raise needed money?
Arts - via The Contemporary Art Society
(CAS) and in nurturing individual
SW ’I sold my business and decided to
talents. To balance all this social
reinvest some of the money in a new
activity, she has also reverted back to
business but this time with the objective
her farming roots and grows organic
of using all the profits to support the
vegetables on her treasured houseboat.
South African project. I wanted to test
Avantoure
the concept launched by Kofi Annan at
What inspired you to launch
the 2001 UN Global Compact of “using
an independently run cinema?
capitalism to change the world” albeit
Sally Wilton The idea of owning in a modest way. The idea was that by
a cinema has been a longstanding providing something wonderful for my
dream – my children and their friends community and some good local jobs
remember me talking about it on the we could also help to build a community
school run! In the first interview I gave in another part of the world’.
to The Director Magazine, when I was
A How did you choose the location?
running my previous business, they
asked what I would do if I sold it and I
SW ‘It chose me! I had been looking
o
v
e
said I’d run a cinema. The dream was
all over southeast England for the right
f L
to have a magical place like the original
venue and this wonderful Edwardian
picture palaces where people went
theatre appeared on my doorstep. It was
to escape from the day-to-day and be
unknown to me despite having lived
o
u
r o
transported to another wonderful world
in the area for 20 years. The location
v
e
r
a
b
of the imagination. I also wanted to have
is ideal – it’s on Kensal Rise between
a business where all the profits would
Queen’s Park and Kensal Green. The
go to the charity The Sustainability
nearby street, Chamberlayne Road, was
Institute, a South African eco village
listed in Vogue’s secret address book
ea
i
l
t
o
n

s L
with a primary school at its heart. I was
recently, as one of four London streets
further encouraged to open the cinema
to watch’.
after the tornado that struck Southeast
w
A What do you think The Lexi Cinema
London last year. It caused so much
a
l
l
y W
brings to the community?
damage in this area, but the wonderful
thing was the camaraderie which came
SW An alternative place to spend
m
a
: S
out too and I thought this was a sign
an evening. A place where you can
that my vision for the community would
enjoy a delicious glass of wine, watch
n
e
m
be well received.
a film and share a conversation with a
ea
i
neighbour who just watched the same
A How did it all start? And where did the
film. This is a friendly space where
name The Lexi Cinema come from?
e
x
i C
our customers are treated like friends
SW ’It started as a dream of the day
and neighbours, not strangers. We

dr
and then I thought about it more and
encourage the community to join in and
T
h
e L
more as I was running my first business.
help us make The Lexi their cinema, we
When I sold that in June 2006 I had time
welcome volunteers and we have had
to investigate the idea more fully and
so much positive feedback from locals.
I looked at various businesses in the
It’s wonderful’.
South East before coming across a
A How is The Lexi Cinema different to
T
he
“To Let” sign literally across the road
other independently run cinemas in
form my house. The name, The Lexi,
London?
is a classic cinema name like The Rex,
avantoure
|
avan trend
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