save penrith cinema
Please support our bid to save Penrith’s Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema
The hundreds of protesters, who I joined outside the Cinema on Saturday were amazing. There was real verve, energy and exuberance in the streets. I never thought I’d see so many people (still less end up standing between Darth Vader and Borat).
I love the cinema – and love watching films in it – like so many others. It is a vital element of energy and culture in the center of our town. I have received dozens of emails, letters and phone calls from constituents angry about the proposed closure, and asking for a positive solution. There was a meeting yesterday. We’d like, with the support of local organisations and perhaps also the district council – run the cinema ourselves. I proposed the community buy-out of the cinema in the House of Commons, yesterday, as part of the debate on the localism bill. But if we are to make this work, we need to harness all the energy of hundreds of people together, and plan, push and act.
We are told that the cinema is a profitable enterprise, and clearly it’s a business that really matters. I’d like the council to restrict its function as a cinema, (and not as a pub), get people to contribute, run it as a community asset and make profitable returns. We‘ve seen this approach work elsewhere in the constituency: such as with the Old Crown pub in Hesket Newmarket.
I have written to Graves Cumberland Ltd to find out more detail on the closure, to discoverwhether a new lease, on behalf of the community, is possible and to see if there is anything else we can do.
The rally on Saturday was really well-run, and the energy of everyone who came out in the rain to show their solidarity was extraordinary. Please go to the cinema in the coming weeks. Show how much you enjoy it. Encourage you friends, family, neighbours and colleagues to go. If you haven’t already, please join Richard E Grant, Eddie Izzard and nearly 3000 others in signing a petition to save the cinemalready, please join Richard E Grant, Eddie Izzard and nearly 3000 others in signing a petition to save the cinema by signing your name here.
And if you are willing to play a more active role in the campaign, please contact me directly on [email protected]