Petition to preserve a Bognor Regis cinema will be presented.

A petition seeking to protect the town’s cinema will be handed over tonight (Wednesday, September 5).

The 10,868 signatures on the petition to Protect the Picturedrome made it among the largest in the town’s history.

It will be handed over by members of Bognor Regis Civic Society to Arun District Council at the start of its full council meeting in its Littlehampton base.

Many supporters of the Picturedrome are expected to present to back the petition.

Hugh Coster, the society’s deputy chairman, said: “This is the biggest petition we have ever done and it is the biggest petition the council has ever had.”

It beats the 10,033 names on a petition in 2002 to save the town hall.

The council is obliged to accept the petition. Its members have to decide a date on which a debate will be held in public about the petition.

But that decision does not have to be made tonight. The council has ten days in which to tell the civic society how it intends to handle the petition.

The petition was launched by the civic society last February and gathered more than 1,000 signatures in its first five days.

The petition demands the district council should stop another cinema opening on its land.

This is in response to the proposal for a multiplex as part of the regeneration of the Regis Centre site put forward by developer St Modwen.

It is feared a nationally-run multiplex would wreck the historic building’s business by having the first pick of all the latest blockbusters.