New Lewes cinema evacuated because of water leak

The Depot cinema was officially opened last month
The Depot cinema was officially opened last month

Part of The Depot cinema in Lewes had to be evacuated on Saturday afternoon because of a water leak.

It occured midway through a screening of Wonder Woman at the £8m venue, which was officially opened last month.

The ‘green’ roof, which features 12 chalk and downland species, was being watered with a hose attached to a tap inside the loft.

The hose became undone – it was an insecure fixture – and part of the loft flooded. Water ran straight into Screen 1.

Luckily it did not saturate plasterboard or anything else before it ran through. As soon as cinema staff turned the tap off and mopped up the floor the water stopped running into the screen.

Screen 1 was evacuated to protect the audience, and they received a refund and a free (soft) drink.

A spokesperson at The Depot said, “Nobody complained, they just requested to be able to watch the film again.”

Box Office staff called all members of the public who had bought a ticket for Screen 1 shows this week, explained the situation and gave refunds.

The website and all social media was regularly updated with the latest news on the situation.

On Monday all Screen 1 technical equipment and structural building work was tested and the go-ahead was given to re-open with the 8pm showing of Wonder Woman.

Carmen Slijpen, Depot Creative Director, said: “All the staff were very on the ball and worked extremely hard to deal with the situation as efficiently and fast as possible. I am hugely impressed by the flexibility and support from the Box Office staff who all mucked-in with great gusto. The volunteers were also amazing.

“The public as a whole have been so supportive. As soon as we announced Screen 1 was to re-open the Box Office phones haven’t stopped ringing.”

The three-screen cinema took four years to come to fruition, involving refurbishment of the former Harvey’s Brewery depot in Pinwell Road.

The charity Lewes Community Screen purchased the site from the brewery in 2013 and has since transformed it into a major arts venue.

In addition to film screenings the charity promises the venue will feature theatre and live music.