I FEAR cultural elitism is driving the noisy but somewhat limited objections to the proposed new cinema at the old Library site in Rye’s Lion Street.
The chief objector has posted his ‘Wylson Report’ listing reasons to object to the cinema on the Rother planning website but starts by demanding that the Rother Planners insist Fletcher in Rye CIC must change its current two-screen proposal to one that will offer a small ‘arthouse’ cinema and a separate theatre for performing arts.
So, in his view, a modest double screen cinema showing the latest James Bond movie or Les Miserables will lead to gaggles of ghastly cinema-going pedestrians blocking the pavements in Lion Street, mass double parking and worse in Market Street, the collapse of local services and so on, but the same sized complex showing the latest Latvian Film Noir and a revival of Waiting for Godot by reformed Shining Path guerillas from Peru won’t trouble Rye in the slightest, all his objections disappear and it should be granted permission!
Meanwhile a Rye Town Councillor has posted a list of personal objections on the Rother website, with more worries about pedestrian logjams in Lion Street and so on.
However, this person really objects to the fact that people coming to Rye’s cinema from the surrounding villages by car will use parking places in town, including the market, that would otherwise have been available to people coming to Rye but not going to the cinema!
It seems that cinema goers, as well as walking on and blocking the pavements, selfishly steal parking spots and, therefore, the objection is to a cinema anywhere in Rye and not just this application in Lion Street.
You couldn’t make it up! Well I did the bit about Latvian movies and ex-maoist thespians from the Andes, but the rest so smells of cultural snobbism a little bit of light relief is a must.
PS. I support the Fletcher in Rye CIC cinema plans and have made a part donation and part interest-free loan to them to enable them to buy the site. My house adjoins the site and is one of the most affected by the development.