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Lewes Community Cinema Project - update from LTC

On 1 Feb 2012 at 1:36pm Merlin Milner wrote:
Below is link to a document that explains about LTC decision and hopefully clears up some of the points and concerns raised in previous posts on the subject.

Check it out here »
On 1 Feb 2012 at 2:08pm Furious wrote:
So, as a regular attendee of Lewes Cinema screenings I have been lining someones pocket. That is absolutely outrageous. I have contributed further by enjoying a mug of tea and a slice of cake, the profits from which must also be vast. Never again!
I look forward to benefiting from the profits that LTC will make and enjoying their new comfortable seats.
On 1 Feb 2012 at 2:21pm Clifford wrote:
Is that the position then - Lewes Cinema rented the place from the council for between £10.75 and £19.40 per hour, sticking the punters on (mostly) hard seats with a rotten sound system and charging £5.50 (£6 upstairs on the few comfortable seats). Presumably they also had to pay the hiring fee for the film. I'd be interested to hear what the profit rate was.
On 1 Feb 2012 at 3:05pm Furious wrote:
Maybe the profit wasn't that big, I expect the ladies behind the desk, and those doing teas etc were on a hefty wedge. Thank goodness that LTC are coming to the rescue to make changes that the community will benefit from. Timescales and name of person in charge please?
On 1 Feb 2012 at 3:24pm Independent Thinker wrote:
Thank you Merlin for the link. Some interesting points raised. The one area I felt wasn't acceptable was to do with consultation with Lewes Cinema. It explains why the council didn't HAVE to consult with them. Not why they didn't WANT to consult with them. For example, did the council ever discuss with Lewes Cinema the possibility of jointly paying for retractable seating, as they would clearly benefit from it? Did they ask if they'd consider allowing the Oyster Project to operate the concession stand in return for some kind of profit share? Before making their decision, surely it made sense to invite Lewes Cinema to meet to discuss the concerns the council had with the current status and ask them to propose possible solutions to those concerns? The issue of whether they were informed before the press release went out is a distraction. The more important point was not being consulted before the decision was made. There's a difference between having the right to do something, and it being the right thing to do. I still can't help feeling this might be more to do with personality clashes than anything else. And it's a worry having to rely on a group of enthusiastic amateurs to hopefully not mess up a service that from a film goer's point of view wasn't broken.
On 1 Feb 2012 at 3:51pm Furious wrote:
Independent Thinker - it will be fine. LTC have said so. They have nailed their colours to the mast and can't allow their new venture to fail. I am looking forward to the experience and especially looking forward to hearing (say, in 12 months time) what the profits are and how they are to be re-invested in the community.
On 1 Feb 2012 at 5:22pm Clifford wrote:
Furious - exactly.
On 1 Feb 2012 at 5:42pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
Let's face it - The Lewes cinema is obviously making some money - if it is able to employ at least one person and give them a living wage. It seems they are being a bit disingenuous in claiming they only operate in Lewes. And I'm quite amazed they are only paying the standard hourly rate at the All Saints given they can quite easily make about £2000 a weekend (based on £5 per person, 100 people attendance per viewing). I don't know what film rental costs are, but community cinemas are I think eligible to lower rates than commercial cinema. Ball park figure is £52000 a year income, profit probably half that. Multiply that across West Sussex and you have a great business. I sincerely hope the council is able to make a go of it and hopefully expand it, ploughing all profits back into the community. It might even fund some other arts activities.

The Lewes cinema portrays itself as doing it all for love of film - however I think the 25-year-old film club demonstrates the same thing - and its all voluntary - no commercialism in sight.

With all the facilities in place and better seating, we may find the coucnil is able to provide a better service.
On 1 Feb 2012 at 11:57pm DrDumpling wrote:
When has it become such a bad thing to make a profit, in fact in the council document they seem quite proud of making a loss. Also when did it become a council remit to discourage and even destroy local businesses.
If the council wanted more of the profit why didn't they do what a normal landlord would do and put up the rent. Instead they killed the goose on the promise of greater rewards.
On 2 Feb 2012 at 12:30am Lewes Cinema wrote:
Yep, killed that goose stone dead due to greed and profound ignorance.
Interesting how the original reason given for taking over the service we had carefully built-up over 10 years was that they would easily make £20,000.
Now there is some back-tracking going on and the TC are saying "A service run at a loss does not signify incompetence, as many people wrongly assume".
Erm, yes it does if you took over that service for 'the profits' it could generate.
On 2 Feb 2012 at 12:40am Lewes Cinema wrote:
Oh, one final thing - Lewes Cinema made a loss last year.
On 2 Feb 2012 at 8:12am DFL wrote:
Can we see the accounts then please Lewes Cinema ?
On 2 Feb 2012 at 8:14am golden globe wrote:
dear lewes cinema , why not just take your product somewhere else . like st marys , or st johns church hall , show the same film the same nights , nothing wrong in some health competition ,
On 2 Feb 2012 at 8:25am Furious wrote:
I feel a Freedom of Information Request coming on, and several more during the next twelve months, simply to see how much money LTC make from this initiative and how it is reinvested to benefit the community.
On 2 Feb 2012 at 8:47am The Boy Bernie wrote:
The Lewes Little Theatre would be the obvious place to show films. It has good enough seats already and could probably do with the extra cash any rental of the venue would make too. It wouldn't take much to make it the Lewes equivalent of the Duke of Yorks really.
On 2 Feb 2012 at 9:57am Barry Norman wrote:
Isn't it amazing that for years people, including at least one of the above posters, have been calling for a proper cinema in Lewes, but now they seem to be all set on criticising Lewes Cinema for the possibility that they might actually make a few quid! Who on earth is going to operate a proper cinema if they are not going to be allowed to make a profit from doing so?
On 2 Feb 2012 at 7:14pm ADT wrote:
I agree with Golden Globe and Bernie. Just open up somewhere else.
On 3 Feb 2012 at 11:20pm Lord Ballantyne wrote:
there is a great alternative - Uckfield Picture House - comfy seat, loads of films, comedy nights, and minimal profits.... surely would keep whole of Lewes moaning community happy
On 4 Feb 2012 at 3:44pm Helper wrote:
I suppose Uckfield should thank their lucky stars they lease the building from a private landlord and not the council - otherwise they could find their profits 'liberated' as has apparently happened to Lewes Cinema.
On 5 Feb 2012 at 1:47pm ben morgenstern wrote:
Ha! But Lewes Cinema said it made no profit last year! I will stop now because I think we have all been acting like some raving loony party, let both sides meet and discuss. There somes a point when "Yah Boo Sucks" gets nobody anywhere.

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