New sound for Diss Corn Hall

A landmark building will have a bigger voice from tonight after investing some of the �50,000 won earlier this year on new speakers.

Officials from the Diss Corn Hall were jumping for joy three months ago after scooping the Norfolk County Council community ambition prize at the EDP's Pride in Norfolk awards.

And filmgoers will benefit from the first phase of improvements after the cash enabled them to buy a new sound system.

The investment will be the first of a number of upgrades as part of the 19th century hall's Movies for All project, which will see the arrival of a cutting-edge projector, screen, and work on a new control box next year.

The new sound equipment will be used for the first time at 8pm tonight for a screening of the 1960 Christmas classic, The Apartment, featuring Jack Lemmon.

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Angela Sykes, Diss Corn Hall manager, said: 'It will make a big difference to the quality of sound for films and have more power to them. The speakers we had were very good, but domestic speakers and were not man enough.'

The sound upgrade comes almost a year after the Diss Corn Hall Trust friends group took over the management of the hall, in St Nicholas Street, from Diss Town Council, which has already seen the introduction of new acoustic panels, a lick of paint and new toilets.

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Officials are also submitting applications to help fund a �2m vision to extend and renovate the whole building into a modern entertainments venue for the Waveney Valley.

'We are ahead of our projections and it is amazing considering the challenging economic environment we are in. We have been building the audiences and we are building quite a lot of good relationships with different companies and organisations.'

'We have a lot of good things booked for 2011 and we are attracting quite a lot of promoters who want to hire the hall and bring names to the Corn Hall that will put it on the map again,' said Ms Sykes.

Paul Jones and Dave Kelly, stars of the Blues Band, will play at the hall on Friday, January 7, the Mere Players will bring Santa and the Vikings to Diss for five nights next month, and Congolese dance band, the Zong Zing Allstars, with perform on January 29.

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