Borough blamed for theatre closure

AN employee at Ipswich's Film Theatre has blamed the borough for its closure.Martin Simmonds is a supervisor at Hollywood Cinema in the Corn Exchange, which revealed last week that it is to close.

AN employee at Ipswich's Film Theatre has blamed the borough for its closure.

Martin Simmonds is a supervisor at Hollywood Cinema in the Corn Exchange, which revealed last week that it is to close.

A joint statement by Ipswich Borough Council and Hollywood Cinemas blamed the economic downturn on the closure.

But Mr Simmonds, who lives in London Road, said he believes the real reason for the closure is because of the council's decision to close the Corn Exchange for much of the year.


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He said: “I think one of the main reasons is that the Corn Exchange is closing for five months and that will not help the attendance figures at the cinema because nothing else is going on in the building.

“I believe one of the reasons that Hollywood pulled out was because they were being asked to sign a contract which did not reflect that things had changed at the Corn Exchange since they took on the place. I think they felt that they are being squeezed out a bit.”

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Mr Simmonds said he believes the closure was a blow to the town.

“People are annoyed and angry because we believe that the film theatre has got real potential in a town of 130,000 people and with some political will and support this could be done.”

Mr Simmonds has now written to every borough councillor to protest against the closure.

A borough spokesman said: “The council has invested millions of pounds on the Corn Exchange building and we have an expanded and exciting programme over the coming months.

“The decision to close the film theatre was taken by Hollywood as a commercial decision and we believe that the economic downturn is more responsible and we are certainly talking to members of the Ipswich Film Society about alternative proposals in keep specialist cinema in the town.”

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