The 70 seat Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema

The 70 seat Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema

A public on-line petition has been launched today with the aiming of stopping Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL) from closing the Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema.

As reported by PDN earlier this week Penarth Arts and Crafts [ which leases the Pavilion and its cinema from the Vale of Glamorgan Council on a 125 year lease]  –  has announced that it intends to close the Pier Pavilion Cinema as from March 6th.

The loss of Penarth's only real cinema would be a huge blow to the town

Film fans say the loss of Penarth’s only real cinema would be a huge blow to the town and criticise the move to mothball the cinema after only three years of operation .

The move is part of cost-cutting measures to alleviate financial pressures on the cash-strapped not-for-profit company and registered charity.

Two of the directors of the firm quit the firm’s board on February 6th and the remaining directors are said to have regarded the situation as so serious they considered – at one point – shutting down the entire Pavilion. Instead, they are to implement a four-day-week operation as from March 6th and close the Pavilion on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays – but intend to completely close the cinema itself from March 6th until further notice

Penarth Pier Pavilion was totally refurbished in 2013 in a £4,100,000 part National  Lottery-funded scheme scheme – which included building-into the structure a brand new 70 seat digital cinema.

Local cinemagoers are up in arms over the impending closure and the loss of Penarth’s only proper cinema .

The on line petition is already attracting signatures - even though the petition has only been opened this morning

The on line petition is already attracting signatures – even though the petition has only been opened this morning

Now local resident Andrew Jones has launched the online petition which is to be presented to Professor Anthony Hazell, the managing director of the Pavilion when sufficient signatures have been amassed.

Mr Jones says “We call on PACL to reconsider this decision which deprives the people of Penarth of their only cinema. It will lead to a loss of support for the cinema which needs to be nurtured and marketed not mothballed after just 3 years of operation. We believe this leaves its future in extreme doubt. Please help to #SaveOurCinema”

The petition – called “Keep Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema open” can be found on

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  1. A book-keeper says:

    In a post on 23 February Mark Foster provided a link to the location on the Companies House website where the latest PACL accounts, made up to the 31 December 2015 are registered I would draw attention to the Report to the PACL Trustees (the Board of PACL) of the Independent Examiner (effectively the independent auditor) which is contained on page 5 of the accounts. In reporting on the ability of PACL to continue as an on-going commercial concern Julia Mortimer of accountants Watts Gregory identifies the trading losses and liabilities of PACL’s trading subsidiary as representing “a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the charity’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Furthermore Note 1 indicates that it is Julia Mortimer’s opinion the legal requirements to comply with accounting disciplines “have not been met.”

    In plain English this amounts to an independent assessor indicating their concern about the financial viability of the organisation and its financial husbandry, both of which are the ultimate responsibility of the Trustees. If this was the position at end of 2015 it raises entirely legitimate questions concerning the actions taken by the Chair and the Board both leading up to this point and subsequently to remedy the situation. Many contributors to this thread have made unflattering observations about the operation of the café. The evidence of the trading subsidiary’s financial performance suggests these comments have great substance. Circumstantially the extremely high turn-over of staff and board members strongly suggest that all has not been well at PACL for several years. The recent announcement of a reduction in provision, which is misleadingly pushed as a neutral action, would on the face of it appear to be the consequence of an accumulation of a number of years of poor decision making. If the Pavilion is to be saved it only seems appropriate that the current Board account for their actions and demonstrate they have the ability to turn the crisis around, of which they have been the sole architects.

    • Lynda says:

      Start looking into the running of the Pavillion from the very beginning . Even when the Washington gallery was involved , some aspects of this organisation doesn’t ring true ?

  2. Ben says:


  3. Brian & Jenny Stonhold says:

    We went last Sunday & full for Jacquie film. Great cinema.We really enjoy smaller venue.

  4. 249ers says:

    Maybe it reflects our choice of film but the venue has always been full when we go. I was so sorry to read about its threatened closure and do hope a plan can be formulated to keep it open

    • Ann Other says:

      You can have a full order book and go broke, as the old business saying states. It is probably that the cinema would not pay even if full for every performance, taking all the costs and the need to account for the replacement of equipment and so on are taken into account. The con ema, indeed the whole operation, has been a misconstrued, ill-planned fairy tale since the beginning.

  5. TwoddleWoddler says:

    From Day 1 the venue has not been operated commercially. I have never been provoked to put my hand in my pocket to buy anything, even my kids come out NOT nagging for something……suppose thats what you get when run by a bunch of civil servants.

    If I’m right, there are v few, if any commercially focused trustees on the board. Bring back Twamly. Just because its a Not for Profit organisation, the business still needs a commercial approach, it has to generate sufficient surplus to cover its costs……and don’t get me started on that cafe…..

  6. Jane Foster says:

    If lack of money is the reason it’s closing, what good will a petition do? More advertising for the cinema would have been good as I didn’t know it was a regular event and not an occasional pop-up cinema.

  7. Regular-Cinema-Goer says:

    Why close the cinema? I think the choice of films isn’t too bad. It might be worth to reduce the ticket price, though. The Chapter charges £3 per film. If you charge something in that region, it’ll soon pick up. But the price at the moment, apart from Wednesday for selected films, is rocket high. My friends and I drive to the Chapter, because we are not prepared to pay the Pavilion prices. You may as well close the whole of the Pavilion, if you stop showing films. It’s been left to you through the efforts of Maggie Knight, so try a bit harder!!!! Otherwise I’ll tell her!

  8. 92 and a social butterfly says:

    Would people say what kind of cafe would attract them please, some more constructive criticism might help.

    • Louise says:

      One that provides decent food and drink at competitive prices with good customer service and clean tables might be a start.

  9. andrewsketty says:

    25 FEB 2017 — Dear All

    It’s just 24 hours since I started this campaign and already we have passed 500 names. Your support has been incredible and just shows how much we want to keep this unique venue on our pier open!

    Some people are questioning what good a petition will do! When I heard of the plans to close the cinema I just wanted to do something to make sure that as many people as possible knew and could express their support for it to stay open in one place.

    If you haven’t already done so have a look at the many many comments and suggestions that people have made on the petition site. Really useful observations for the future and expressions of wanting to help. All of this is extremely positive and can only but help the cause.

    I did not expect the response that I have had in such a short space of time and hopefully the opportunity will soon arise to meet with PACL and other interested people to take things forward constructively to keep the cinema open. Clearly from the comments alone there is lots and lots of goodwill

    Thank you – and please continue to let people know about this

  10. AK says:

    It would be interesting to know how many of the 500 have actually been (or never been) to the Pavillion cinema.

    I think the cinema in particular needs better marketing and identify.

    Cafe: get some decent coffee in would be a start !

  11. Peter Church says:

    Last nights showing of Trainspotting 2 was full.
    PS the film was great. Loved the bit about 1690, so un-PC

  12. Grey local says:

    Rather than close the cinema surely it would make better sense to accommodate local audiences by having family sessions, afternoon performances ( so that people can leave before it gets too dark to walk home) etc. Promotion deals such as a meal deal plus cinema outing may attract viewers. This would lower the cost of film hire. Chapter does really well but then its marketing is well done also. Using the inner space for exhibitions of Local artists , painters, potters, jewellers etc would draw people in. After all this is supposed to be for the local community. The shop could sell less expensive items that people could afford to buy . Or is that perhaps too common for those on charge of ourpier?

  13. andrewsketty says:

    there has been an incredible response to this petition and already is approaching 1000 names. That’s a real show of how much people in Penarth don’t want to lose our cinema. if you are able to share it to give one final push that would be great. we can easily hit the 1000 figure today

  14. Nicky Arnold says:

    We need a public meeting to clarify exactly what has been going on, why the cinema is not financially viable and to give people a chance to air their views and pledge their support in any way they can.

Comments are closed.