Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, visited Penrith’s Lonsdale Alhambra Cinema to show support for this vital local attraction.
The cinema was saved from closure in 2011, after a successful large campaign backed by former MP for Penrith and The Border, Rory Stewart. For a second time, the cinema is asking for support from locals in a ‘bums on seats campaign’ to avoid closure.
Dr Neil Hudson MP said, “Like so many others, I love movies. Going to see a film is like a journey which from start to finish is always exciting and now of all times it is nice to escape into a different world. Small independent cinemas like this provide such a wonderful experience and they are a vital part of our communities. We must all do what we can to ensure we do not lose this fantastic asset to our town.”
Neil met with Joe Watters, the cinemas Assistant manager, and longest service member of staff to discuss the concerns about the cinema’s future following a lack of business because of the Corona virus and public concerns with safety.
Joe commented “I am confident in my team who have worked tirelessly to provide a comfortable and familiar space for the town to come together in a safe yet deeply communal way and I appreciate Neil’s sharing in our pride. As Neil has seen for himself during his tour of our historical building, the changes we have made don’t compromise anyone’s safety or comfort, but rather feed into our ongoing goal to provide an accessible, safe and enjoyable experience for our entire community.
“As we once again face the threat of closure, though from a very different angle than in 2011, we are grateful to all those who see the true value that our independent cinema brings to the town. This said, I am grateful for Neil’s understanding of the herculean challenge we face and that if we do not continue to receive support from our beloved community, we will sadly fade away over the coming months.
“As Neil has seen for himself, the best way to support us is to come down and experience our changes in person as there is no more convincing a substitute for gaining anyone’s trust than seeing us in practice firsthand.”
Following the visit Neil commented “I want to thank Joe for showing me around this amazing cinema and to see all the innovative work they have done to make going to the movies a safe experience. It has been very tough times for them with the big releases getting delayed, but they have got some great showings and I really urge people to go and support this fantastic cinema.”