Penarth Town Council is re-imbursing its Event Cinema customers in the Paget Rooms after a technical failure forced the cancellation of last week’s scheduled screening .
The audience in the Paget Rooms had been due to see a Young Vic production of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” on Thursday evening .
It’s not the first time that technical glitches have affected the live cinema shows at the Paget Rooms following the installation of Penarth Council’s new £35,000 satellite reception and digital projection system last year .
It was funded from an increased Council-Tax Precept imposed on all council-tax-payers in the town.
In March this year Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) had asked the Town Council’s policy and resources committee about the maintenance of the equipment and asked about the chain of responsibility for maintaining electrical safety – saying the existing documentation did not make this clear.
At that meeting the Town Clerk had told the committee that the new equipment had “a maintenance programme attached to it”.
Cllr Rapier posed the question “If there was an on-the-day failure” and the council had sold 200 tickets and there was a breakdown just an hour before transmission what would the council do? He said “Who puts the equipment back in order? If we couldn’t beam-in the National Theatre what would happen then?”.
Deputy Town Clerk Keri Hutchings said there were a number of people who knew the equipment well enough to resolve most issues but it would “all depend on the problem”.
He added that “It has occurred, it has happened and we have been able to get through it except for one instance where the equipment just did not work and we had to cancel the show “.
Last week’s cancellation is – as far as PDN knows – the second time it’s been necessary for the council to give the audience refunds since the installation of the equipment in April last year . On the first occasion local residents said they turned up for the performance only to find the Paget Rooms were locked-up and in darkness with no note of explanation displayed outside and no subsequent public apology was made .
There is a full calendar of future live events scheduled.
On June 9th to mark the Queen’s 90th birthday there will be a showing of “The Audience” by Peter Morgan – National Theatre Live’s smash-hit broadcast of the original West End production featuring Helen Mirren playing the role of the monarch .
On July 7th The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Live cinema season continues with “a new vision” of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.
More details are on the Penarth Town Council website on http://tinyurl.com/jnezmle
UPDATE: Later Salop St resident M Davies wrote to the Penarth Times to complain that “the poor caretaker had to take the brunt of people’s displeasure while local councillor Mr Cuddy, who was there, disclaimed all knowledge of why the Penarth Town Council failed to provide the technical expertise to operate the equipment.” Cllr Cuddy is the Leader of Penarth Town Council.