A campaign to bring back a much loved art cinema held its first screenings last week of its second season of films. The Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign shows films at the Spread Eagle pub, a few yards from the cinema’s original home on Katharine street.
The David Lean cinema closed on 22 April last year. Though formally rehoused in Croydon’s Fairfield Halls, many regular patrons and former staff are campaigning to restore the cinema to its original home, the Clocktower building on Katharine street.
Campaign founder Adrian Winchester says the cinema had two main purposes: to serve Croydon’s older community and make the arts offering in the town more diverse.
“The cinema was closed with indecent haste by the council after a consultation exercise which seemed to have no impact whatsoever on the decisions that were made. But there was this tide of goodwill that was just completely ignored by the council.”
Winchester’s motivating reasons include support from local resident Ronnie Corbett, public outrage at the closure, and his own memories. He said it was a positive sign that following a council meeting held on Monday 30 April, Croydon has agreed to accept proposals for potential restoration.
Councillor Sara Bashford said: “We are currently reviewing the provision of arts services within the Clocktower complex – the cinema auditorium is included in this.”
Councillor Maggie Mansell presented the petition, highlighting that ten films are showing in May; considerably more than the three being shown at the Fairfield.
The project has continued to keep the spirit of Croydon’s independent arts cinema alive. Philip Howard programmed the schedule for the May film season. He says during the film the audience had “rapt expressions”
Local residents who attended the first screening in May expressed their support: Alan Pickle from Addiscombe, Hazel Wickens from Beckenham and Brendan Walsh from Thornton Heath:
The campaign’s new season opened with a showing of My Week with Marilyn, and continues this week with a theme of unexpected romance with the Argentine film, Las Acacias on today – 8 May, and a US production, Before Sunrise on May 9, 2012.
For more information on the schedule throughout this month call 0208 656 0168 or visit Save the David Lean campaign page.