What A Carve Up
I read my first copy of The Beano here, in the semi-darkness, my back pressed against the stage, trying to ignore the soundtrack of Ghostbusters which my 5 year old self found mildly terrifying. I had my first kiss here too, in that bank of seats you can just about make out at stage right. I even got engaged here, after a screening of Love Actually. My boyfriend dropped to one knee as the credits rolled and proposed; the film had been so cheesy I thought he was joking and an elderly lady sitting in front of us had to point out, as I laughed my head off at the joke, that my boyfriend wasn’t laughing.
So I suppose this is a roundabout way of saying that this place means a lot to me. Growing up in this town with nothing but a lifeless bingo hall, two fried chicken shops with dubious regard for hygiene and a scrubby football pitch for entertainment, the cinema, an abberation of glamour, is the only snippet of beauty or sophistication for miles.
I don’t have much faith in the protest working – they don’t, do they? It doesn’t matter how many people lie down in front of steamrollers or write to their MPs, the property developers will get their wicked way and this place will be turned into ’35 gracious 1 and 2 bedroom flats’ before we know it.
The developers have made a big deal out of their plans to ‘retain the aesthetically interesting features’ but, even if they keep their promise, what good is that to the rest of us who won’t get to see them anymore? They’ll be all shut away behind young professionals’ front doors.
And where will we go to watch films? The bloke from the council said we could illegally download them like everyone else. He is a man without soul – who wants to watch Uma Thurman acrobatically eliminate hordes of nihilistic baddies in the House of Blue Leaves, or watch Marilyn sing, ‘I Wanna Be Loved By You’ sitting in their pants on the sofa eating spaghetti hoops?