Protest shows supporters’ passion for town’s cinema

Demo - The campaigners outside the the town hall.''Photo by Louise Adams   C121689-1 Bog Demo
Demo - The campaigners outside the the town hall.''Photo by Louise Adams C121689-1 Bog Demo

CAMPAIGNERS battling to free Bognor Regis from the control of Arun District Council showed their passion for the town’s much-loved cinema.

More than 20 members of the Fight the Good Fight – Get Out of Arun group were outside the town hall on December 5 making their voices heard.

Bognor resident Caroline Wilson, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “We are very pleased with how the protest went.

“We had to organise it at very short notice and it was at a time when a lot of people were still at work so to get more than 20 supporters there was very good.

“A lot of nearby residents came out to see what we were doing which helped to raise awareness of our cause and some cars beeped as they went past.”

The protesters held their peaceful demonstration as members of the district council’s regeneration sub-committee gathered to debate a petition seeking to protect the Picturedrome.

The campaigners wanted councillors to realise the strength of feeling surrounding the Canada Grove cinema’s survival.

Caroline said: “I think we definitely made an impact. A security guard came and locked the door so we could not get in.

“But that meant some of the councillors and other members of the public couldn’t get in either so they were left wandering outside, until someone opened the door.”

The petition, signed by 10,868 people, which demanded Arun District Council prevent any other cinema from opening on its land around the 
town, was rejected by sub-committee members.

The campaign’s supporters demonstrated for about 40 minutes and their chanting could be heard in the council chamber at the start of the meeting.

The Facebook group, Fight the Good Fight – Get Out of Arun, was started in September by Caroline.

She has said she decided to launch the campaign after listening to Bognor’s deputy town mayor Paul Wells’ comments during a town council meeting.

The group’s main aim is to have decisions about Bognor Regis made by local people.

n For a full report on the meeting see page 24.