MORE than 2,000 people have signed a petition against a multiplex cinema being built in Pool.
The Save Our Cinema campaign was started by Geoff Greaves, owner of Merlin Cinemas, which runs the Redruth Regal cinema.
Mr Greaves fears the proposed Cineworld cinema would destroy his business and force footfall from the centre of Redruth into an out-of-town complex.
Redruth Town Council has backed the petition.
The development, proposed by Salmon Harvester Properties Ltd, would also include an Asda supermarket and four restaurants.
The company has yet to submit a formal planning application to Cornwall Council, but Mr Greaves said he was trying to drum up opposition before it is too late.
He told the West Briton: “We are getting tremendous support once people realise the knock-on effects of this proposal and Save Our Cinemas Posters are now being displayed by many town centre retailers.
“If the cinemas were to close it would likely have a serious detrimental effect on footfall and especially the night-time economy in several towns.
“We generate 500,000 cinema visits in towns we operate in and additionally attract many holiday visitors, especially on wet days, paying for parking, shopping and often eating locally before or after a film. Without a cinema many of these people, like the local cinemagoers, would have to drive to Pool to see a film.”
Mr Greaves said he had been bombarded with support from local people and promised to not let the Cineworld complex be built “without a fight”.
Management at Merlin Cinemas hope to gain the support of other local councils over the coming weeks as they present the case to more councillors.
Penwith Film Society members who use the Royal St Ives and the Savoy Penzance, the oldest continuous cinema in the country – 101 years old – and also run by Merlin Cinemas, gathered signatures for the petition in Penzance last weekend.
It is understood a planning application will be submitted before the end of this month for the Pool development proposal. Funds from the selling of the land to Salmon Harvester Properties Ltd will be used for a comprehensive refurbishment of the Carn Brea Leisure Centre.