Thursday, November 01, 2007

That's All Folks!

Margate's historic, Grade II listed Dreamland Cinema closes today with a showing at 8.30 this evening of, appropriately enough, Peter Sellers' 1957 comedy of cinematic errors The Smallest Show on Earth.

The management have blamed the closure on the council's decision to allow a new multiplex to open at Westwood Chaos. As my good friends at the Cinema Theatre Association told me:

Unfortunately, local councils give planning permission for multiplex cinemas which invariably spell a death knell for independent cinemas, particularly tottering ones such as the Dreamland.

This, you will remember, is the same council that has placed its bets on arts regen to rebuild Margate's fortunes. Hmm. So, bingo gone, amusement park gone, cinema gone, still no firm plans for the site. That's regeneration!

Dreamland story on BBC website

12 comments:

Millicent said...

Well I for one would not go to Westwood Cross at night if i don't have to - we must support the cinemas we've got left. What is going to happen to the cinema organ?

tony flaig bignews said...

As someone who's concerned about the future of Margate and the carve up of Dreamland it is difficult to get excited about this.

The seats in this cinema are uncomfortable the heating only appears effective in the summer so really, I'd suggest you move on.

As far as I'm concerned only the cinema in Westgate has done anything to encourage business.

I used to go to the cinema at least once a week back in the nineties when I had access to a clean comfortable heated or aircondition modern cinema.

I think thanetonians will be happy to enjoy a movie without having to endure slum conditions that many cinemas in kent provide.

HOORAY FOR PROGRESS!!

numb bum said...

If you feel nostalgic for this and similar cinemas after tonite, may I suggest you get a portable dvd player, go into your garden and sit in the most uncomfortable garden chair you can find.

With any luck your neighbours will oblige by having a heated row so that you cannot follow the plot. That way you should be able to relive the magic.

Linda said...

I think it is a terrible shame that Margate is losing all its amenities. OK the seats are uncomfortable, but if you are local and want to stay away from the 'Jewel'at Westwood, although I personally think it is Zirconia, I feel sorry for you. The only thing is DVD/VHS and a nice glass of something cold and sit indoors, in your own comfortable chair.

Anonymous said...

has anyone noticed that Westwood is becoming more and more like the similar tasteless 'mall' near Ashford. It has Travelodge and same eateries. When will we see Big Frank open up bars and a big Club to kill off all night life in margate?

Eastcliff Richard said...

I'll move on over the cinema, Tony, if you'll move on over the airport.

Thanet Patriot said...

The main point is that T.D.C seem hell bent on destroying commerce in Margate,the only things they seem to want to cater for are arty-farty types and sea view dwellings for the rich,how long will it be before average wage earners are forced to live in the centre of the isle and only the wealthy and those with"contacts" will live
within sight of the sea.
The council do not want Dreamland to survive and are only concerned in maximising council tax returns to bolster the extravagent dreams of a few.If people could only look to the future when fuel will either run out or become to expensive,where will you go on holiday then?
Why can't we have a bigger say in these matters,councillors only do what the civil servants want them to,how about an in depth look at the people who are really pulling the strings and their interests to see if it is all above board?
I would lay money that the answers would be both interesting and damning.

Sceptical said...

It would make very interesting reading I'm sure - just make sure ECR gets the film rights. Look at the trouble we have had trying to find out who SPF Ventures really. Not much sign of the fence coming down on Ramsgate's Eastcliff yet either. Maybe after boring two holes they've real;ised the true extent of the problem and given up?

Anonymous said...

I think ECR's point was that there are many places around the country where historic cinemas are cherished and looked after and form a focus for arts and the community whereas here in Thanet we seem hell bent on chucking out everything that is old in the name of 'progress'. This seems to be Tony Falig's approach at least and it is very short sighted and blinkered as there will come a day in the not too distant future when we will regret losing facilities such as the Dreamland cinema, when all we have is luxury flats that no-one wants to buy because of the planes roraring over them every ten minutes. That's the future people like Tony are building for us.

That said I am surprised that there are any cinemas left at all on the island given the number of dodgy DVDs that change hands. Another symptom of the Thanet mentality.

Anonymous said...

The Carlton and the Windsor are both excellent, cherish your big screen at Westgate for real cinema, multiplexes do not do big screen ... Dreamland, very sorry to say, well past its sell by date, drab, depressing, i am very pro thanet but also realistic. I was there last night, i wish all the staff connected with it well in finding new employment.

Anonymous said...

How dare you question Tory plans and determination over regenerating Margate, ECR? The Leaders are soon off to China to look for cultural ideas, and if they stay sober for long enough they may see some. They will come back with lucrative contracts (with a 10% mark-up for "charities" of their own choice, undoubtedly). They will be planning a new theme park based on immigrant lynching and the history of the ku-klux clan, and white-knuckle rides based on Hitler's Mein Kampf. So there!

Enthusiastic said...

Now there's an idea - when i went to Melbourne in Australia i visited their immigration museum - what a coup for the isle if we started Britain's first immigration museum here. Dreamland's cinema would be the perfect venue.We could call it from Windrush to Warsaw or something equally catchy. Obviously some of the artists who featured in the recent Arrivals exhibitions could be featured there too. All immigrant groups would have a place to tell their stories. Sounds like a winner to me.