A DECISION not to reopen the Penarth Pier Pavilion cinema to regular screenings has been described as a “huge blow” to the people of the town.

Last week, Penarth Arts and Crafts Ltd (PACL) announced that the cinema would only be used for pop-up cinemas and film clubs in future after stating previously that the cinema would reopen after the summer.

The cinema was first closed in March and resident Andrew Jones started a petition against the closure which has gained almost 2000 signatures.

Mr Jones said: “This is a huge blow to the people of Penarth especially as PACL themselves had been, until recently, responding publicly that it would be opening again soon. What has happened in the past few weeks to change this and why has neither PACL nor any other stakeholder engaged with the local community over this decision – clearly a decision that the people of Penarth do not want?”

He asked why the people of Penarth are not entitled to a full explanation from PACL as to why the cinema won’t reopen despite the swell of public support.

But in a statement last Thursday (November 9) PACL claimed that it now has the basis for a “viable and sustainable” future for the building as it looks for a way to use the cinema that “does not present a risk” to the charity.

On December 1, the pavilion will have been re-open to the public for years since its £4 million refurbishment.

The statement read: “We are very proud of what has been achieved during that time with a wide variety of events and activities taking place.

“This milestone in the life of the restored Pavilion provides us with an opportunity to look forward and to lay out our ideas for the future.”

PACL says it has undertaken an evaluation of its main commercial activities and a new part-time volunteer co-ordinator has been appointed.

There is set to be an increase in the commercial hire of the premises, including weddings.

PACL said: “The success of our operations within the pavilion to date have only been achieved through the efforts of a small, dedicated staff group, the involvement of the board of trustees, and the on-going support of a group of loyal volunteers.”