In an unprecedented move, Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) – who instigated last month’s public meeting at The Pilot pub on the future of Penarth Pier Pavilion’s cinema – has now invited Professor Tony Hazell (chairman of Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd) to come and see a movie with him …in Blaenavon.
In an open letter Cllr Rapier has suggested that Professor Hazell and he travel 32 miles North of Penarth to the Blaenavon Workmen’s Institute (built in 1894) where a there is a thriving 68-seat “community cinema” – of exactly the same capacity as the 3-year-old and now-closed Penarth Pavilion Cinema.
[PDN Note: Penarth Pavilion Cinema was controversially closed by cash-strapped Penarth Pier Pavilion leaseholders, Penarth Arts and Arts Ltd, as from March 6th – giving rise to public outrage – and concerns about the way the Pavilion itself (now closed on 3 days a week) – is being run] .
Here is the text of the letter as sent by Cllr Rapier to Professor Hazell
Dear Mr. Hazell,
Please be assured my only interest in writing to you is the success of our Pavilion and the re-opening of the Cinema.
Please forgive me for sending you an open letter in a non-political personal capacity but I have tried more usual channels of communication without success.
I appreciate you are very busy but please would you kindly consider coming with me on a day out to Blaenavon so that we may visit the Workmen’s Hall 68 Seat Cinema together.
I am assured the Cinema is able to pay it’s way and respectfully suggest we may both be able to learn from the experience.
Perhaps we could take in a Movie. How about the Disney Classic Beauty and the Beast, Hacksaw Ridge or the Smurfs Lost Village. All showing in April in this cost-effective, exactly the same size as ours 68 seat Community Cinema.
I anticipate that Penarth Daily News and Pontypool Free Press (sister paper to the Penarth Times) would be happy to cover our visit to Blaenavon in person on the understanding of course that there must be balanced editorial coverage.
I have strong contacts in the area as I am proud to say my son is a Councillor elect (unopposed) and he would be only to pleased to help set up a meeting with the Cinema Trustees/Management Committee for us.
I was not aware or informed of any discussions between yourself and Penarth Town Councillors and as I am not standing for re-election have no political motive.
At exactly the same time as your discussions I contacted a PACL Trustee in writing requesting they mediate and help arrange a meeting.
The simple objective being that they set up a discussion (informally) with a Group of Community Representatives. (I would have excluded my self from the Meeting as a serving Councillor then and had- quite rightly- been advised to do so by Penarth Town Council Officers ).
I have had no response to my request from PACL or the Trustee.
All eight persons put forward to meet with you were suitably qualified with Charity Sector experience. Consisting of Penarth resident Lawyers – Chartered Accountants. Arts Management Graduates and prominent Penarth Business Persons.
May I look forward to our excursion to Blaenavon and the reopening of our Cinema soon?
….So far Cllr Rapier has not received a reply to his invitation.