The idea of a small cinema in North End, Wirksworth has greatly excited many local people, who see it making a positive contribution to the social and cultural life of the town’s community. So, I read the piece by John Windsor, published recently in your paper, with great surprise. He paints an alarmingly negative picture of this excellent project, raising all kinds of spurious fears.
First, can I point out that there is a Public House almost opposite the proposed site, which is often very busy in the evening, but there has been no concerted effort by the residents of North End to complain about it. Indeed, the pub is a big favourite with many North End folk. I am not aware of complaints about noise; or parking; or about extra traffic flow. So why should we believe that the cinema will suddenly be such a nuisance? It doesn’t make sense. We are not talking about some vast multiplex showing ten films, but a small cinema that will delight the town’s residents.
There’s a small and very successful cinema at Belper, but it has no street parking. Is this a problem? No, it isn’t; everyone knows to go to the nearby town carpark. Does the audience leave singing theme tunes and making a nuisance of themselves? No.
The plans for the Wirksworth cinema clearly address the issue of where to park away from the residential area, although most local people will walk there anyway. Also, there is a promise that the cinema’s bar will close at a very reasonable 10pm some nights and 10.30 on others - considerably earlier than the local pub opposite - and the cinema will only operate on five nights a week. So that’s parking and late night nuisance dealt with. As the cinema hopes to largely cater for members, everyone will know what to do and how to behave.
OK, I’ll concede there might be an initial hiccup with traffic flow, but everyone will soon realise it is not in their best interest to waste their time driving down North End at all. I think such a creative and innovative project should be welcomed, and lots of Wirksworth people agree.
Those that oppose it do not make a very convincing argument against it.