I refer to two recent letters in the Bognor Observer regarding the Picturedrome.
The Picturedrome is old, it’s true, but it has a unique and authentic charm and atmosphere which adds something to the viewing experience that you simply cannot capture in a bland warehouse style multiplex.
It seems to me that its critics do not actually live in this town and undoubtedly do not even patronise the venue.
Thank goodness there are many more refined people who appreciate heritage and culture and understand its value.
Once it has gone it will be gone for good, but a multiplex can be replaced any time.
They are springing up everywhere now so are hardly a unique feature.
Sure, it will all be wonderful when it first opens, new and shiny and just like the architects drawings, but be wary, the Queensway was once a space age looking architect’s drawing too and looked fantastic, as did the Regis Centre.
Have they stood the test of time? I think not.
To say that the new cinema will draw people from far and wide is living in dream land.
If you are a cinema goer and live to the west of Bognor you will go to the ghost town that is Chichester Gate, or even Portsmouth and if you live to the east, Worthing is opening yet another one at Teville Gate.
It is easier and quicker to travel to Worthing or Chichester from Littlehampton than it is to get into Bognor.
Currently, the Picturedrome manages to draw people from a very wide radius from towns which already have a multiplex, simply because it is different and special, not to mention cheap.
I have friends in Surrey who come to Bognor specifically to visit the Picturedrome, but they have a multiplex locally.
It may be that people who live in the surrounding villages will initially visit the new seafront facility, but will that really amount to thousands?
Given that there will be very little parking too and access into Bognor is always difficult, it may not be their first choice for an evening out.
The novelty will quickly wear off and the shiny new cinema building and expensive restaurants will be clones of every other town and it will end up like Chichester Gate, a dismal place if ever there was one.
As for another giant supermarket and student flats– is that regeneration or degeneration?
Felpham Road, Bognor Regis