On 28 May 2017 at 9:30am Another B and B lady wrote:
Wow, the Depot is absolutely beautiful. How fantastic to have such a place in this small town. And no, this is not paid for advertising: I really think we are very lucky to have such a terrific community asset. No doubt lots of the usual trolls and wingers
will give me the thumbs down and complain about the prices etc. etc. I Rally don't care. I and my guests will love it and I intend to use it often. Thank you so much to Robert Senior and all the people who have worked for four years to make this happen. They deserve to have a huge success.
On 28 May 2017 at 9:37am Dan wrote:
Is it really for the local community? Or is for your guests?
On 28 May 2017 at 10:02am Aloe wrote:
Both, Dan. Don't be so dense.
On 28 May 2017 at 10:20am Dan wrote:
The depot is not for me, I wish them the best.
On 28 May 2017 at 10:50am Dan the D@ck wrote:
Well thanks goes to dan for the most pointless post of the year.
On 28 May 2017 at 11:05am Red Leicester wrote:
It's lovely, both inside and out. I really like the use of flint and glass. My only reservation is the gallery area, which should have been kept clear for changing displays rather than the existing permanent one (which nobody I spoke to liked). But that's a minor quibble. Overall it's a triumph and I'd bet money on it being a big success in Lewes. I hope that they'll screen old classics like Hitchcock films - ones that most of us have only seen on television, but deserve to be seen on the big screen.
On 28 May 2017 at 12:34pm pixieonaleaf wrote:
I have no doubt that it is a beautiful place, but my child was taken there yesterday to see 'Beauty and the Beast', absolute mayhem! It took absolutely ages to get in, people on the cash tills very slow. When they finally managed to get in, there were more problems (cannot remember what, there were so many). One woman's seat number (clearly printed on her ticket) did not even exist. After all of this, they could not even show the aforementioned film. It was shambolic, disappointed children all round. Of course they were offered full refunds, but, the till operators had no idea how to deal with this. At least it can only (hopefully) get better.
On 28 May 2017 at 2:08pm Red Leicester wrote:
I spoke to someone connected to the Depot and they are aware of all these teething problems. Opening any new venture is always shot in the dark, but I'm sure they'll get up to speed quickly.
On 28 May 2017 at 2:34pm not from around here wrote:
There is no doubt that the Depot is a huge asset to the town - but let's get a few things in perspective:
They spent £8 million on this - which is absolutely bonkers - that should buy you about 1 1/2 to 2 FULL SIZE multiplexes. So having spent way over the odds for conversion/new build it SHOULD be nothing less than spectacular.
The original planing app was rejected in part due to limited road access - nothing has been done to address this - wait until the station car park is busy and there are cars trying to get in and out of said car park and 3 different screens starting or ending their shows - still with a single track access road - it will be chaos that will make yesterday look like a tea party in comparison.
These are practical issues.
Screening technology not available outside London? - well it is up to current standards but features such as Dolby Atmos are available at 50 multiplexes from one chain alone, so good but hardly unique.
There are some parts of the programme and infrastructure that are still not ready:
Live/Event screenings - not ready yet.
Membership scheme - not worked out yet according to website
They have had 3 years to plan this stuff so this does not bode well for the standard of planning and management.
The test of any independent cinema is in it's programming and whether it reaches enough of an audience.
It's stated opening times are long - way too long. Robert Senior has made a massive donation to the cinema in the form funding the outlandish build cost. But he will need really massively deep pockets for decades to come to fund the running costs and losses.
I know many of you out there are certain it will make money but anybody with experience in cinema would tell you that it will not. Knowing some previous poor judgements by Carmen and her team I would not be surprised if they have costed the running of the cinema based on an average 50% occupancy rate of each screen. The industry average (and they will be lucky to reach this in a town this size) is 25% screen occupancy.
Consider the lovely screens at Uckfield achieved at a fraction of the cost and screening whatever people want to see rather than Robert Senior's stated aim of only 'good' films. I myself have been involved in screens that cost about 100th of this amount to setup and run. There really is no justification for making the cinema (which the town needs) such a white elephant by getting the costings (and some of the practicalities) so, so wrong.
On 28 May 2017 at 3:10pm Castle Gate wrote:
What a laughably pointless comment (see above). I'm off to the Depot to grab some lunch, buy my tickets, and sit in a comfortable chair to see a selection of critically celebrated films shown in state-of-the-art picture and sound quality (as the director would wish) in a permanent, purpose-built cinema in my own town, the County town of East Sussex. And, by the way, as a teacher of law at university level, I would advise a person named in comments such as that above that the remark is potentially defamatory, though that is of course for the court to decide. (For the record, I think the Uckfield Picturehouse is lovely, but I don't live there and there isn't a railway service there.)
On 28 May 2017 at 3:16pm Not From around Here wrote:
Eh? If you really know the law in practice rather than just teaching it then I would imagine that you would know the difference between a stated fact and something which is offered as an opinion i.e. "I would not be surprised if Carmen and her team etc.. "
On 28 May 2017 at 3:46pm CharliesChaplin wrote:
Kevin Markwick, I mean, 'not from around here'... Bit worried are we...?
On 28 May 2017 at 3:57pm Depot wrote:
We were very disappointed that we had to cancel our very first public screening due to technical problems. Most people were most understanding and happy with the refund and refreshment offered. We have put on an additional screening of Beauty and the Best in 3D this half term holiday. It is a steep learning curve for all of us as we have only just taken possession of our building and we are still training newly recruited staff. Lessons are learned and we are picking things up as we go along. No cinema wants to loose a show - it is the worst thing that can happen - not something we'd like to repeat. We are working very hard to make it work for all - a few glitches are inevitable. Your patience hugely appreciated.
On 28 May 2017 at 4:27pm Huh? wrote:
I've seen two films at the Depot this weekend (yup, I'm a punter). Both showings were full and everything ran very smoothly. I've heard there were problem with one film but it was all OK when I was there.
The place will be an incredible asset to the town and I for one am full of gratitude to Robert Senior. I mean, what an wonderful thing to do? (And there isn't even a plaque!)
To 'not from around here'. You are wrong on so many issues it's difficult to know where to start. But I'll stick with the simple one.
There were three films showing when I was there (two I know for sure were very well attended) and I could still easily park in Pinwell car park. It's clear that most people walked, cycled or took public transport. And I've never, ever seen the station car park full, or anywhere near it, and I use it almost every day. Transport is not an issue for the Depot, as I believe breaking even will not be an issue (remember it's not a profit making concern).
All in all your post smells of sour grapes and judging by how much you know about cinema I'm guessing that you are from Lewes Cinema. If so, your post is reprehensible and you are a coward.
On 28 May 2017 at 4:33pm A Person wrote:
Dear Depot: you have it in armfuls, from me and most of the people who were there yesterday. Anyone who didn't expect the first day to run into problems was in LaLa Land (see what I did there).
I had lunch there. It was busy and a bit chaotic but it was fine. What was really impressive though was the restaurant manager - whose name is Alessandro BTW - who made a point of getting feedback from everyone. He wasn't defensive but he really wants to get this right and he really cares. I know the same goes for Carmen. I think it's the most astonishing achievement, personally, and I think it has every chance of really transforming our town.
On 28 May 2017 at 5:06pm Geoff Paddle wrote:
Is it true they are showing late 'arty' type films? Asking for a friend.
On 28 May 2017 at 5:09pm Not From around Here wrote:
Sorry to disappoint you but I'm not from 'Lewes Cinema' but I do work in the cinema business. You make some fair points and some not so fair ones.
What I have said merely reflects what I think is the likely reality - The Depot is (as I have acknowledged) an incredible gift to the town but that is no good if it will cost serious money (no chance of a profit or break-even) based on faulty assumptions. You have to remember that none of the people involved, however well-intentioned, are cinema professionals with experience of running this type of thing. Another poster on here mentioned that any new venture is bound to be "a shot in the dark". Not at all, that's why you normally have experienced people involved so that outcomes are predicted and expected.
I don't know anybody in the cinema world who does not think the depot is sheer folly. Make no mistake, the building is nice, the sound and picture are great, and people will have a good cinema experience - so what's not to like? If it were to be run in an unrealistic way (which in my opinion it is) then who is going to pay to keep it open? Time will tell.
And just to be absolutely clear I have no vested interest in the success or otherwise of the Depot - seriously.
On 28 May 2017 at 5:28pm Red Leicester wrote:
@Geoff - they showed an 'arty' film with Brigitte Bardot, if that's what you mean. The sort of French film where they criticise bourgeois society through the medium of naked women.
Re: Not From Around Here's point - the All Saints showed some pretty obscure stuff and even when it was a rather dull film about Chilean politics, it was still standing room only. Lewes may be a small town, but it has a larger number of affluent, educated people than many big towns like Crawley (I used to manage a bookshop there and it was like running an off licence in Saudi Arabia). I don't think they'll struggle to get 50%.
On 28 May 2017 at 5:33pm Not From Around Here wrote:
But are you talking about the films that were on once and once only at All Saints?
On 28 May 2017 at 5:59pm Dan wrote:
This was the launch weekend you would expect it to be full, however there are another 51 weekends to go. Once the honeymoon period finishes will it be as busy. I hope they can make it work, but I suspect it will be like Waterstones, a coffee shop pretending to be a bookshop sadly a very expensive one.
On 28 May 2017 at 6:01pm Red Leicester wrote:
Yes, I get your point, but I and many people who often didn't go to the Film Club because it was packed and the films were hit and miss, all say we'll be going to the Depot regularly. I don't have your experience of cinemas, but the book trade taught me that with the right demographic, a small town could punch far above its weight in terms of sales per sq ft. The Depot can presumably programme quirky, older films that will be cheaper to show and still fill the seats, because people in Lewes are more receptive.
On 28 May 2017 at 6:05pm Red Leicester wrote:
@Dan - I know that the Lewes Waterstones makes a very healthy profit, presumably because there are enough people in town who are willing and able to pay full price for a book.
On 28 May 2017 at 6:27pm Dan wrote:
The hope for success at the depot is more people go to watch the films than will sit and drink a cup of coffee while they wait for their train looking trendy. Showing Classics, art house films is all well and good but there is limited interest. Mainstream would be more popular. But with Netflix and other streaming services will the depot work? All I can say is at this time there is nothing showing that I have not seen or that I am interested in. So for me to go there would perhaps once or twice a year.
On 28 May 2017 at 6:48pm Red Leicester wrote:
@Dan - I think they're aiming for a mix, rather than just being 'arthouse'. My tastes are pretty broad, so I'll keep going to the Marina for stuff like Alien Covenant (I loved it, but everyone else seems to hate it), but also look forward to trying something different without going through the rigmarole of driving and parking. I'm sure their programming will gradually evolve as they see what works and what doesn't.
On 28 May 2017 at 7:08pm A Person wrote:
"while they sit and drink a cup of coffee while they wait for their train looking trendy". Gosh, what a bitter, jealous small minded statement.
If you want to go and watch mainstream blockbusters you have loads of choice. Bog off to Brighton. If you want to watch something surprising which you didn't know even existed on a big screen, the way the director intended, well we have the Depot. Frankly I'm delighted you won't be there.
On 28 May 2017 at 7:11pm Dave wrote:
I've been down there twice now, seen 2 films i wouldn't normally have booked and been blown away by both of them.
It's easy enough to go to the Marina, Komedia or The Odeon to see the mainstreeam Hollywood stuff when it first comes out but personally I'd much rather wait a while and see it in the comfort of the Depot. i'm well over 6ft tall and never enjoyed so much leg room in a cinema.
But its not just about that, the place already has a really great vibe about it, it feels like Lewes has stepped up a gear. I'm glad they've spent what they've spent on it because its a joy to spend time there.
I was taliking to 2 of the managers down there last night (both of whom have been in the business for 20 years btw) and they said there's been some teething troubles and were obviously very concerned but they'll be forgotten in a very short time and I'm sure they'll get it running smoothly.
Its an absolutely wonderful gift to the town and I feel really grateful for it.
Looking forward to spending a lot more time down there, its a great alternative to sitting in a pub too
On 28 May 2017 at 7:15pm I live here wrote:
I'm 'old Lewes'. Not a 'DLF', not arty, just a working class bloke who likes a pint in the Elly and a kebab on the way home. I love the new cinema and I'd happily sit in there and have a coffee or a sandwich. I'm unlikely to watch one of their subtitled films but I'd definitely find something to watch if they carry on with the range of films that are there at the moment. I think we're very lucky to have it and I wish them all the best.
On 28 May 2017 at 7:41pm Hiwheeler wrote:
For goodness sake. Stop harping. We have a fantastic new facility. It speaks much for the contributors to this forum that all we can do is run it down. It will fail if it is not supported. Is that what you want?Methinks perhaps we are already over endowed in this town.
On 28 May 2017 at 8:16pm Dick wrote:
So who is this Not From Round Here geezer? And if so why is he so keen to attack this great new venue. I've been down there and seen a movie, had a chat. Early days but everyone is enjoying themselves. Is that a problem? They also say they are doing Alien Covenant asap and will cover plenty of mainstream stuff.
On 28 May 2017 at 8:57pm Ooops! wrote:
@not from around here.
Everything you have said is wrong. Its been seen how your concerns about parking are misconceived. Now for no-one working there knows how to run a cinema.
Have you any idea who has been employed there? No you haven't. There are many people who gave been involved in running a cinema. Now shut up and go away. Take your embittered little comments elsewhere.
And it's so obvious who you are that next time you post I might be tempted to reveal your name, you little man.
On 28 May 2017 at 9:34pm Dick wrote:
Agreed. "Not" Take your nasty, silly, uninformed opinions away and let's enjoy this great new cinema.
On 28 May 2017 at 10:19pm Man with a dirty mac wrote:
Any chance of some 3D porn?
On 28 May 2017 at 10:54pm Clauds Winkelman wrote:
I give it 12 months.
On 29 May 2017 at 12:40am Cannes wrote:
Good to see all the 'golly-gosh' posters are out in force. I give in 18 months.
On 29 May 2017 at 7:15am Cam wrote:
The mealy mouth of many of you lot never surprises nor disappoints.
On 29 May 2017 at 10:13am The people wrote:
Anything new in Lewes is positive. We have too many empty buildings, and now the Council have another with closure of Ambulance Call centre. How many empty building do LDC have on their books....
On 29 May 2017 at 10:59am Jeff wrote:
Judging by how popular it is I give it at least 20 years