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Redruth business vows to fight Cineworld's planned move to Pool

By WBJLock  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

Geoff Greaves, owner of the Regal Cinema in Redruth who is unhappy about plans to open a new cinema complex at Pool.

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A CORNISH cinema group has vowed to do everything it can to stop a new multiplex opening in Pool, amid fears it would jeopardise the future of the Regal in Redruth.

Geoff Greaves, who runs Merlin Cinemas, owners of the Regal, will fight plans to build a Cineworld complex as part of a proposal by developer Salmon Harvester Properties Limited, which also includes an Asda supermarket and four restaurants on land next to Carn Brea Leisure Centre.

The developer purchased the land, which is currently a running track, in December. The sale of the land will allow Cornwall Council to refurbish the dated leisure centre.

But Mr Greaves said plans for Cineworld to make its debut in Cornwall were ill thought-out and dangerous to the local economy.

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He will now do “everything he can to highlight the negative impact”.

Although originally from a multiplex background, Mr Greaves said they have an adverse knock-on effect, driving people to out-of-town developments.

He said: “If this application is approved it will likely raise doubts as to the viability of the Redruth cinema, and also that of the Merlin Cinemas in Helston, St Ives and Penzance.

“These are only marginally profitable locations, but are very important to the communities they serve.”

The six-screen Regal has recently undergone a £1.5 million refurbishment.

“Merlin Cinemas have always passionately believed in keeping cinema local, retaining existing and often historic traditional buildings, which are part of each community, bringing visitors and local people into town, with schoolchildren and families often able to walk to their local cinema, or at least just travel a short distance,” he said.

“Protecting an amenity for some, by using the money from this deal to refurbish the Carn Brea Leisure Centre, could perversely result in the loss of many popular amenities elsewhere. It could also result in jobs being lost in several towns.

“These are only some of what I believe are very good reasons that this ill thought-out development should be opposed.”

Alex Jones, general manager of Phoenix Falmouth for Merlin, said he used to run a multiplex, adding: “The opening of ‘out-of-town’ multiplexes caused a domino effect where a large proportion of the audiences decide to ‘try out’ the new venue until the town centre locations I ran could no longer compete.

“Within months of the closure of local cinemas, the monopoly created by the multiplex becomes all too obvious and people mourn the loss of their local cinemas which are generally then gone forever.”

Cineworld was unavailable for comment at the time ofto press.

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  • obsidian  |  May 23 2014, 8:16PM

    It's amazing that in recent times Redruth Cinema has spent a great deal of money and time refurbishing the complex into a great cinema, that in my opinion compares favourably with a big city complex, and still get the unbalanced and factually inaccurate opinion of reptilebeats. I know regular cinema goers who like the improved cinema greatly, and their opinon is one I share.

  • reptilebeats  |  May 08 2014, 9:13PM

    Mate your redruth cinema is rubbish, sound is awful and uncomfy. it smells of damp and its always cold. oh and most of the time when i go im sitting in there by myself no joke. i dont think you can lose any more business than that. i cant wait for a new decent cinema that can compare to the city cinemas. cant say much for your other cinemas but i very much doubt people will drive miles to go to the new cinema more than once. only reason i dont go is because redruth cinema is awful and i cant be bothered to drive to truro. and it isnt going to create less jobs because the people you fire will go work for the new cinema ha

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  • obsidian  |  January 11 2014, 7:34PM

    The Merlin group of cinemas are an enormous asset to Cornwall, and the Redruth cinema in particular is excellent. It's sad that the proposed 'development' of the Carn Brea leisure centre is such an ill conceived and poorly thought out disaster waiting to happen. Basically it's just replacing the serviceable existing building with similar and adding the inconvenience of a relocated track and another supermarket, as if we need another. The plan including restaurants and cinema were obviously thought of after deciding 'sensitive development' was no longer on the agenda, and the needs of the community were a secondary consideration. Replace the cinema idea with a bowling alley, the restaurants with a larger pool and fun pool and the ridiculous supermarket plan with a new track. We would then have a sports facility that everyone wants, that would also be a leisure attraction to enhance and support the slightly lost position that Heartlands currently occupies.

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  • redruthgirlie  |  January 09 2014, 1:47PM

    Cornish towns are already suffering due to out of town development, look at how many butchers, bakeries, veg shops etc have had to close down due to out of town shops that do everything!! What happened to keep it local!!! Support your town centre before it becomes a ghost town!! Do we really want more unused empty historic building in our towns the Regal has been there since 1935 & has come along way in that time...The Flora- Helston has been a cinema since 1913, The Royal - St Ives a cinema since 1939, The plaza has been a cinema since 1939. Many of these towns would not have a cinema if wasn't down to these independent operators (merlin & wtw) that can & do support Cornwall. Redruth certainly benefits from the Regal being in the town how many people would go to Redruth otherwise, it has a knock on effect. Also where have the multiplexes been for all the years that the independents have been bringing us cinema...where!!! in the major cities not even daring to touch cornish soil... So why now? Pool will have to lose its running track which is the only 8 lane all weather track in cornwall, many sports events have taken place since 1974 this is to aid the erection of more places we really do not need. Our open areas are already being taken over by housing & superstores. Why can it not be left alone! Use the buildings we have already!! Update what's already there!! Support your LOCAL TOWN!!!! Support your LOCAL CINEMA!!!!

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  • martian1956  |  January 09 2014, 1:46PM

    I agree with Catyfl that Pool is a dump! But not as big a Dump and ongoing money pit as Redruth. A new Multiplex would offer more choice and the proposed restaurants would hopefully be mid range dining establishments with a fun night out being the ultimate aim. The majority of dining establishments in both these areas are the extreme bottom of any dining establishments I have visited and as far as Redruth goes,"Stop wasting money on it and let it go" It's an old peoples home, live with it! Depending on choice of day including cinema or just cinema, I frequent Redruth or Falmouth merlin cinemas and have a merlin discount card. I would continue to use all 3 options should Pool Multiplex go ahead but only chose Redruth for a Cinema only excursion.

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  • Catyfl  |  January 09 2014, 1:18PM

    And another thing, Blitzboy must be mad to go all the way to Truro for what is on his doorstep! As I understand it, these cine world places whilst indeed have all mod cons, ALSO charge a huge amount for entry. I do wonder as to the viability of such an enterprise in West Cornwall? Long may the Regal and all the other Merlin group succeed. They deserve it for all they have put into our community.

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  • Catyfl  |  January 09 2014, 1:10PM

    Addendum Trouble is we the taxpayers do not seem to get a say in what happens! Democracy? What democracy???

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  • Catyfl  |  January 09 2014, 1:08PM

    I do wonder where Blitzboy has been going in Redruth, I now go to cinema regularly to the Regal, and it's a very enjoyable experience. It IS clean, seats are very nice and comfy, it's nice to have a treat likeaglass of wine while watching. Film-or coffee or whatever, and the staff are unfailing in courtesy and attention. As to multiplexes, well IF we need one it should surely be in Truro? But DEFINITELY NOT pool. As another comment said we need something different there also they mention 2restraunts? Why do we need them? If anyone wants a nice meal out, they head for a more salubrious part of the area. Pool is a dump in spite of all the money which has been poured into Heartlands...a worthy project no doubt at the moment, but I fear it will go the way of the Eden Project quite soon. I see Tim Smit has gone to pastures new odd that sinceitsgoing downhill so fast. Very sad because it was a great project, but I believe most people expected it to run into trouble at some stage . Rant over

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  • MartinSanders  |  January 09 2014, 12:05PM

    Living in Redruth and having visited cinemas all over the UK the new refurbished Regal Cinemas offers real charm. It is comfortable, clean and really enjoyable. When compared to the tin boxes offered by out-of-town complexes the Regal is an enjoyable environment to watch films. It is great to see Pool finally receiving investment but the short-term sighted vision of more of the same seems ill thought-out. We need to encourage the development of shops such as Ikea, John Lewis. Encourage the development of new shops, not the same old retailers which already have outlets in other Cornish towns. POOL should not be developed at the expense of the existing communities at Camborne and Redruth purely for the sole benefit of the developers. We need new vision and a new offerings.

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  • Doitdreckley  |  January 09 2014, 11:31AM

    Redruth cinema is one of the few things that offers a reason to come to Redruth and the additional people will help bars and restaurants in the evening and shops during the day. The historic facade of Redruth is to be valued and not sacrificed to the free market. IF Pool is to increasingly become the centre of the wider area then a retail future for Redruth and possibly Camborne will be pointless. The planners could then convert these town centres to housing and not trouble green field sites. I suspect however we will get the worst of both worlds. If something wants planning permission it gets it, there is not longer an objective planning system. Therefore, this will happen in Pool, the towns will increasingly die and we will have more houses on green field sites.

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