Littlehampton’s Last Picture Show?

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January 28, 2013 by Whispering Smith

Published in the Littlehampton Gazette January 17th. 2013

Talk  about sunshine and showers, the good news appeared to be that The Windmill Complex would stay open then, right behind that ray of sunshine, came the dark news that the cinema will close from mid February. The reason being, it appears, is that the ADC could not afford to replace the current projection system with the new digital setup now in dominion over the old celluloid system. Cannot afford it or won’t afford it? With a current surplus in excess of several million pounds it has to be the latter. Perhaps this local authority need to be reminded – yet again – that it is your money and perhaps also, you should call their stewardship of said dosh into question, something I am pretty certain many of you will  be doing come the next election. This is the age of social media and people power has never been stronger, you all have a voice way above a whisper now. So, if the ADC is saving money for a rainy day, that’s fair enough but hey, look outside people, it’s raining cats and dogs all over. Closure of the excellent film facility is a no brainer, there are many alternatives to closing the cinema and a working party will be coming forward with those in the near future. But it should be remembered that many movies are still, and will be for some time, available in the old format even recent blockbusters such as Skyfall, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Hobbit. A fabulous back catalogue of film that never reached LA is available and there are plenty of folk wanting to see them. Just consider the popularity of Chichester’s New Park Cinema screenings and the East beach Café vintage film nights – both are very well attended. Support and imagination is required from the ADC, not more consultants and knee jerk reactions. It seems to me that there is a lack of will on their part and, forgive my troubled mind, but this looks to me to be the thin end of a very thick wedge for the Windmill.

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