I stood outside the consultation event in London Road, with my son, some of Thursday, most of Friday and all of Saturday, simply to correct misunderstandings that seemed to be arising, and to offer to answer questions about the Picturedrome, from our point of view, as the operators.
I would like to clarify some of the points and misunderstandings which were frequently raised by persons attending the event, due in part to information given out by the exhibitors there.
1 The Picturedrome is not raising its prices now and has no plans to do so in the future.
2 The business is healthy and viable and very well supported (thanks to all of you out there!)
3 We rent it from the town council, but if the multiplex opens, we will have to vacate and will be forced to break our 25-year lease, as it will be too much risk to carry on being able to pay the rent and bills.
There will then be no operator, thus leaving it empty.
(Plus we own all the fixtures and fittings such as the seats, projectors, and screens)
4 We do not personally think it would be to generate sufficient income, nor be feasible or economical to convert, and still pay its hefty bills if it was anything other than a cinema, though of course that would be up to any future business person and the town council to determine.
5 We know that it helps that far end of the town to thrive, and are concerned that its loss would have repercussions on independent local businesses there, as it acts as an ‘anchor’ tenant to a certain extent.
6 The town, we believe, could sustain four to five screens in total but no more.
But we also believe that a rival operator having more screens than us will put us out of business very quickly by being favoured with the lucrative first run films over ourselves, a fate that has befallen so many independent cinemas when a multiplex comes to town.
I just wanted to put the record straight, and we would welcome anyone who would like to speak to us further to please get in touch via our Facebook site, Save our Cinema Bognor Regis, or by coming into the cinema, or by calling 07733 097253.