Blaenavon Workmen’s Institute incorporates a highly-popular  68 seat 4k digital community cinema, operates viably  and – despite the gender-specific Victorian name – admits all sexes .

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.

Professor Anthony Hazell, chairman of Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd has yet to indicate whether it’s a date

Cllr Philip Rapier (Labour St Augustines) has invited Professor Hazell to come to 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.

One of the movies Cllr Rapier suggests Professor Hazell might like to watch with him is Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge”- currently playing at Blaenavon’s 68 seat community cinema.

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?

Philip Rapier

….So far Cllr Rapier has not received a reply to his invitation.

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  1. Well done mr rapier. I will buy you the popcorn 🍿 Great idea

    125,00 the latest money landed in pacl account should pay the cinema bills so new films can be hired, the drumming teacher, the candlestick maker, the printer – all local small business that need that money to survive – cash flow – pretty critical in these post Brexit days for us in Wales can be paid IMMEDIATELY shame in those in pacl for not managing their money

    A new friends of the new perfect Penarth pavilion film club can bring in a few extra pennies
    Each of the seats in the cinema can be sponsored along with the cinema itself by stars of film and screen – by Penarth great and good this mysterious club – and not so good and damn right naughty, – naughty but nice in Penarth 👍 I suggest we all in Penarth think top down as we that live and ❤️ Penarth need to do put aside red tops and rise above colour – the pavilion, the cafe, the cinema, the public areas needs our new business strategy and those others must be held as in the private sector to account

    Do come for tea.? All together we are better mr rapier and supporters in the pub

    Next sos people’s meeting wil be post local election bs so we can hear ou NEW councils consolidated pledge in the pier psvilion and all associated. A community interest company I love ❤️ Penarth ltd is the way forward we believe

  2. Chris David says:

    Good idea Mr Rapier. And under this set up you can charge what…..£30k for this fact finding management visit. Bung the £30k in the pot and get a proper business plan done with change for a cinema re-opens advertising campaign.

  3. Cllr Clive Williams MBE Leader Penarth First Independents says:

    Well done Cllr Rapier for your continued interest in the Pier Pavillion, I totally agree with your comments. I am sorry you are not standing for election for what ever reason, as I respect you
    and the contributions you always made at the meetings you attended.
    You have stood up for what you consider is right, in your unique honest way, which can often not suit everybody.
    I hope our friendship can continue in the future .

  4. Jan Harding says:

    Love to join you at the Blaenavon 68 seat well run cinema. I feel we should invite all PACL Board of Trustees plus PPP Board of Directors (some are duplicates of PACL) together with Mr Hazell to join us, be mean not to.

  5. Lucy says:

    Get rid of a few or Many of our so called concilers,use there wages to pay to keep it open.

Comments are closed.