WHILE the idea of an arts quarter in Bognor Regis is laudable, it is also impractical and would, in all probability, be doomed to failure.
The addition of a multiplex cinema is an entirely unwelcome prospect as it would constitute unfair competition for our existing facility in the guise of the Picturedrome cinema.
This town once boasted four cinemas in addition to the Esplanade Theatre; a beautiful example of an art deco theatre which now lies buried beneath a skate park; and each, save for the Picturedrome, has over the course of time fallen by the wayside.
It would be unthinkable for this town to lose its only remaining cinema as a result of the building of an expensive, soulless and above all unnecessary cinema complex.
The Picturedrome is one of the few architectural gems left in Bognor Regis and is a landmark that should be preserved for the townspeople.
That is after all, after public consultation, why the council bought the building: so it could remain an asset to the community as a functioning cinema.
Were a multiplex to open, it would certainly be the end of the Picturedrome as a cinema and the council would then have to explain to the taxpayer why it has wasted a very large sum of money for an empty building!
If an art house cinema or multiplex are desired, then one only has the short commute to Chichester to find both and it is not necessary to duplicate those facilities here.
A good theatre would I’m certain be welcomed by a section of the population, but remember that this town once had more than one and they have been destroyed by short-sighted and self-interested parties over the years.
For decades the people of Bognor have been crying out for a skating rink; a good way for the local population to keep fit if ever there was one. Such a facility would provide all-weather activity and enjoyment to a large section of the community.
The addition of perhaps a bowling alley would also be good.
Such facilities would be used all year round by both the local population and tourists visiting the town, whether they be staying on the Butlin’s campus or in the local hotels.
Let us also not forget Bognor Pier. It saddens me to watch that landmark fade from year to year. Do something with it!
There are no end to possibilities to enhance this town’s facilities that don’t involve destroying what few assets remain to us at the behest of councillors over at Arun District Council. It’s time they were explored and the people of Bognor were listened to for once.
Kenilworth Road, Bognor Regis