Wait to see who will run Bognor’s Picturedrome

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NERVOUS Bognor Regis cinema operator Adam Cunard faces more delays to find out if he will run the venue for the next 25 years.

Councillors are locked in negotiations through their property agent with at least one bidder to resolve outstanding issues before they award a lease to operate the Picturedrome.

It is not known when the talks will end or when a decision will be made to appoint the company or individual to take the cinema forward.

The impasse has come despite councillors meeting with their property agent for two hours behind closed doors on Monday.

The end of the talks allowed the public and press back into the town hall council chamber only to be told no announcement would be made.

Cllr Greg Burt, the council’s policy and resources committee chairman, said in response to questions: “We have had an offer.

“We have discussed it but we are going to have to go back to the proposer for a bit more discussion about the rent and who is responsible for various things.

“It’s looking hopeful for certain people but I can’t say more than that.”

Eight councillors were involved in the confidential section of the meeting. A further three were excluded because of their interest in the Picturedrome.

They were the current cinema operator, Picturedrome Electric Theatre Company owner Adam Cunard, his mother and town mayor Sandra Daniells and the deputy town mayor, Jim Brooks.

They were joined by Bognor residents Barry and Jenny Jones, and Bognor Regis Civic Society chairman and vice-chairman Laurie Barnes and Hugh Coster as well as the Observer for the lengthy wait in the corridor.

Mr Cunard, who took on the cinema in April 2007, spoke outside the meeting of the well over hundred letters of support he had received.

He also spoke about his plans for the future of the historic two-screen venue if his bid was given the go-ahead and the effect the uncertainty was having on his nine staff.

As well as the future tenancy, the councillors also discussed a major refurbishment programme and financial projections for the Picturedrome behind closed doors as Cllr Burt chaired the session.