Eyes watching cinema deal

PROPOSALS to privatise Ipswich Film Theatre are today on hold after objections were raised about the deal.

PROPOSALS to privatise Ipswich Film Theatre are today on hold after objections were raised about the deal.

Ipswich Borough Council had been due to announce this week that the specialist cinema will be run by a separate company, saving the council an estimated £500,000 over the next five years.

However, Labour councillors are bidding to get the decision reconsidered claiming the winning bid underestimates the costs involved with running the cinema and the number of specialist films shown at the cinema, at the Corn Exchange, could be halved.

John Mowles, leisure spokesman for the labour group at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “There are so many unanswered questions about the bid that the Tories and Liberal Democrats must reconsider their decision.

“If the council doesn't get this right it could mean the end of dedicated specialist film screening in Ipswich.

Councillor Judy Terry, responsible for leisure at the council, said if the deal goes through it will not mean a downgrading of the theatre.

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She said: “The company is planning to build attendances and show a variety of first run films as well as saving council tax payers £80,000 a year.

“It is not a downgrading of Ipswich Film Theatre's status.

“The company fully understands the need for specialist films and they are a special films organisation.

“They are looking at developing a Bollywood club, a kid's club and running foreign language films.”

Cllr Terry said that as part of the deal any new company running the theatre will have to provide a certain amount of specialist films.

The issue will be discussed at a meeting being held on Friday.

N Do you think the film theatre should be privatised? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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