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                              Mrs T’s Sceptical take on the cinema’s closure. First published 1st Aug 2020 Upon reading the Woolton Picturehouse’s uncharacteristic tear jerking emotional farewell post on Facebook recently, rather than see it as ‘the Last Goodbye’ It gave the distinct impression the cinema-going public had instead been fed a sublimely coerced stage managed movie script, aimed at tugging on their heart strings and wallets with a hidden agenda to provide the Woolton Picturehouse with a financial public lifeline. The only thing lacking was the sound track of Barbers ‘Adagio for strings’ playing along in the background.   Instead of quoting sentimental bull from the Jerry Maguire movie to ensure a dramatic exit, the farewell post was more akin to film titles such as ‘Desperate Measures’ and ‘The Great Escape’. Once the closure seed had been timely planted  the germination process was as foreseeable as placing a one legged blind beggar with his white stick and a sad eyed puppy dog by his side on the steps of the Union of Catholic Mothers xmas knees up do and watching how fast his upturned cap would fill up with good-hearted donations. Questionably the closure was publically announced two days AFTER the BFI announced £30 million in funding for UK independent cinemas hit by the corona virus outbreak, with a possible grant of up to £80,000 waiting to be claimed by each independant cinema effected. Before the closure announcement was made consultation with what the cinema describe as  their “Wonderful amazing patrons” was none existent, internal sources claim no official staff redundancy notices were actually executed and no firm steps to dissolve the company taken. This could lead some to question if the shock and awe emotional card had being used to trigger public involment. If that happened to be the case then any struggling cinema would no doubt be encouraged at how well the sub plot has played out so far, captivating its audience and keeping them glued to the edge of their seat in suspense no doubt until every last GoFundMe donation has come along. As with any good suspense movie sometimes it’s best to keep your audience guessing to the end and let them draw their own conclusions, particulary if the ending justifies the means and everyone walks away with the feel good “It’s a Wonderful life” factor ringing in their ears, then who is really going to give a toss anyway about a suspiciously sublime sub plot ochestrated by the cinema itself. It’s unimaginable that crowd funding donations would have ever raised enough money to purchase the cinema outright to operate it as a local community cinema and even more unlikely the current owners (who themselves have a web of property development investment) would ever consider leasing the building out to allow it to be run as a working cinema. As things stand the best hope of keeping this much loved cinema going looks to be by playing along with the sub plot by keeping the GoFundMe donations coming in. Public donations alone may well only serve to put the cinema into hibernation until the time comes when it’s considered absolutely safe and financially viable to reopen again but with the added support of BFI funding it shouldn’t be long before the cinema is up and running again. One of the conditions of a BFI grant would be to make commitments to improving the diversity of their [The Woolton Picturehouse] board and their senior team and as it’s now abundantly clear that all other options hadn’t been fully looked into before the closure announcement was made then this stipulation can only be a good thing. It would also be a good time to pay back the local communities generosity by providing them with a long overdue voice on how the cinema is run. The Picturehouse has been a part of village life in Woolton since the advent of Talking movies in 1927, it looks like it’s best chance of survival now is to let money do the Talking instead and there’s no greater incentive than to waft an oversized crowd funding public cheque in front of the current owners face mask to help them think again. Looking on the lighter side when the cinema does re-open and patrons are still required to wear a face mask when visiting  then at least it will go some way to blocking out that dank musty smell that’s often lingering around the cinema’s auditorium.  Visit  Woolton Cinema’s GoFundMe page . UPDATE 18.09.2020 After raising over £24,000.00 in public denotions via the Gofundme platform and financial funding from other sources,The Woolton Picturehouse owners announced their intention to re-open their cinema again soon. Disclaimer: Mrs Tittletattles views and opinions are not necessaraly the views of the cinema owners!
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