Falmouth's Phoenix Cinema owner claims Pool multiplex will 'severely damage' trade

Falmouth's Phoenix Cinema owner claims Pool multiplex will 'severely damage' trade

Falmouth's Phoenix Cinema owner claims Pool multiplex will 'severely damage' trade

First published in News

FALMOUTH’S Phoenix Cinema could be “severely damaged” if proposals for a new multiplex at Pool become a reality.

Town councillors have pledged their support for the multi-screen cinema in Berkeley Vale after hearing from Geoff Greaves, owner of Merlin Cinemas, who fears for the future of his business should the Pool development go ahead.

He told councillors on Monday that Cornwall Council proposes to sell off the running track at Pool and reinvest the money generated in Carn Brea leisure centre. Salmon Harvester Properties Ltd has indicated it would like to use the vacated land to house a multiplex cinema, a supermarket and four restaurants.

Mr Greaves said: “Our concern is the multiplex cinema element of this. It is fact that if the multiplex goes ahead it will likely close the cinemas in St Ives, Helston and probably Redruth and may damage my businesses at the Phoenix and Savoy.

“Cinema is a marginal business and if we lose any aspect of our business it could put in jeopardy our ability to reinvest in the business and continue. A slice of our business would be lost to the multiplex at Pool.

“If this goes ahead and we have not brought it to councils, we would be sleepwalking into a situation where some of our cinemas would close and others, like Falmouth and Penzance, would be severely damaged.”

A petition against the multiplex has already attracted 10,000 signatures and a Facebook campaign is gathering pace. Mr Greaves is hoping Cornwall Council members will oppose the proposal when an application is submitted and is looking for the backing of town councils.

“I would hope I can count on the support of town councils to point out when this application comes, the potential damage it could to do their cinemas,” he said.

Councillors Steve Eva said: “There was an absolute fortune spent on repairing the building (the old Drill Hall in Falmouth) and the cinema is such a success it is something Geoff should be proud of.

“We should be saying that if this land is sold off, the money is used for sporting facilities rather than something that’s already well covered by Merlin Cinemas.”

Councillor David Saunby added: “We lost the Odeon and Grand cinemas and it was quite a lot of years before the Phoenix came along. We cannot afford to put this cinema in jeopardy. Now we have got it, we should back the Phoenix.”

Falmouth town councillors have given their unanimous support to Mr Greaves’ campaign to safeguard the future of Merlin Cinemas’ five operations in Cornwall.

Comments (5)

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10:21pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Rob_74 says...

Competition is healthy. The cinemas mentioned in the article currently have no competition and are worried because they fear any rivalry. They charge over the odds for a poor cinema experience, with screen sizes that are currently rivalled by most peoples living rooms, except in your living room you generally have a clear view of the screen and not the back of someone's head.

The cinemas in Cornwall have a cult following and will keep that custom, competition should even improve this.

They won't however lose my custom - why? Because I refuse to use them in the first place because they are poor. I would use a big multiplex complex because that is how, in my opinion, the 'cinema experience' should be.

Why deprive the people and children of Cornwall the choice, let them make up their own mind.

And as for 10,000 signatures. How many of those were bribed? I walked past Redruth cinema on St Piran's day and the deal was ''sign the petition and be entered into a draw to win free tickets'' What kids wouldn't sign?
Competition is healthy. The cinemas mentioned in the article currently have no competition and are worried because they fear any rivalry. They charge over the odds for a poor cinema experience, with screen sizes that are currently rivalled by most peoples living rooms, except in your living room you generally have a clear view of the screen and not the back of someone's head. The cinemas in Cornwall have a cult following and will keep that custom, competition should even improve this. They won't however lose my custom - why? Because I refuse to use them in the first place because they are poor. I would use a big multiplex complex because that is how, in my opinion, the 'cinema experience' should be. Why deprive the people and children of Cornwall the choice, let them make up their own mind. And as for 10,000 signatures. How many of those were bribed? I walked past Redruth cinema on St Piran's day and the deal was ''sign the petition and be entered into a draw to win free tickets'' What kids wouldn't sign? Rob_74
  • Score: 3

3:12pm Fri 21 Mar 14

ElevenEleven says...

I don't know which branch you have used Rob, but that is not my experience of the Falmouth Phoenix at all.

They did a great job of rescuing an attractive but crumbling building and brought a useful facility to the town and I would hate to see that put under threat.

Sure, you can't refuse development on the grounds of competition, but the planners ought to make sure that it doesn't threaten the local economy in the process.
I don't know which branch you have used Rob, but that is not my experience of the Falmouth Phoenix at all. They did a great job of rescuing an attractive but crumbling building and brought a useful facility to the town and I would hate to see that put under threat. Sure, you can't refuse development on the grounds of competition, but the planners ought to make sure that it doesn't threaten the local economy in the process. ElevenEleven
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Gillian R.Z. Martin says...

I would hope anything at Pool would not be too much of a threat to Falmouth, given the lack of decent public transport. I am pleased to see Falmouth Town Council are supporting Merlin.
I would hope anything at Pool would not be too much of a threat to Falmouth, given the lack of decent public transport. I am pleased to see Falmouth Town Council are supporting Merlin. Gillian R.Z. Martin
  • Score: 9

9:21pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Rob_74 says...

I should point out that my previous post wasn't an attack on the Falmouth Phoenix at all. I did mean all the cinemas around (Helston, Redruth, PZ, Truro... Etc) don't meet my, or many other peoples expectations for the prices they charge. Sure they have done wonders on some of the building and this shouldn't go unnoticed.

It's just such a shame that any new plans proposed in Cornwall are nearly always rejected (St Austell-coyte farm just one example that springs to mind, the dry ski slope near truro - instantly up against people moaning). I believe that independent retailers do need a certain degree of protection but these people also need a little bit of 'motivation' to make them improve their business to enable them to sustain themselves. Cornwall Council could help these small 'high street' businesses straight away by dropping the rip off parking charges - people say that it is the big name supermarkets killing the high street but in reality it's the rip off council charging a fortune for car parking that is driving people away. I know where I go, free parking every time! Anyway I digress...

Rather than having one or two owners of a cinema(s) sitting there with the monopoly employing minimal staff, pocketing the money rather than improving their business, think of the employment opportunities that a bigger cinema and some decent eateries will bring.

Like I said previously, there are people who prefer the smaller more intimate cinemas and people who prefer the bigger multiplex. I just hope the 'people' get the choice to decide for themselves rather than the plans being turned down due to petitions, some of which signatures have been bribed for a draw for free tickets if they sign (is that even legal?)

And if the 10,000 regular cinema goers who have signed the petition really don't want the new cinema built and they stick to their guns, it's a win win for Cornwall:

1. The smaller independent cinemas don't lose any custom because the 10,000 regular cinema users (who have signed the petition) will continue to use the smaller independent cinemas.
2. The big multiplex will get the custom of the people like me, who don't use the smaller independent cinemas. Creating new jobs.
3. A new, improved leisure centre is built with the proceeds of the sale of land.
4. Redruth school gets a running track.
5. A price war between Asda & Tesco will drive down prices for the people!
I should point out that my previous post wasn't an attack on the Falmouth Phoenix at all. I did mean all the cinemas around (Helston, Redruth, PZ, Truro... Etc) don't meet my, or many other peoples expectations for the prices they charge. Sure they have done wonders on some of the building and this shouldn't go unnoticed. It's just such a shame that any new plans proposed in Cornwall are nearly always rejected (St Austell-coyte farm just one example that springs to mind, the dry ski slope near truro - instantly up against people moaning). I believe that independent retailers do need a certain degree of protection but these people also need a little bit of 'motivation' to make them improve their business to enable them to sustain themselves. Cornwall Council could help these small 'high street' businesses straight away by dropping the rip off parking charges - people say that it is the big name supermarkets killing the high street but in reality it's the rip off council charging a fortune for car parking that is driving people away. I know where I go, free parking every time! Anyway I digress... Rather than having one or two owners of a cinema(s) sitting there with the monopoly employing minimal staff, pocketing the money rather than improving their business, think of the employment opportunities that a bigger cinema and some decent eateries will bring. Like I said previously, there are people who prefer the smaller more intimate cinemas and people who prefer the bigger multiplex. I just hope the 'people' get the choice to decide for themselves rather than the plans being turned down due to petitions, some of which signatures have been bribed for a draw for free tickets if they sign (is that even legal?) And if the 10,000 regular cinema goers who have signed the petition really don't want the new cinema built and they stick to their guns, it's a win win for Cornwall: 1. The smaller independent cinemas don't lose any custom because the 10,000 regular cinema users (who have signed the petition) will continue to use the smaller independent cinemas. 2. The big multiplex will get the custom of the people like me, who don't use the smaller independent cinemas. Creating new jobs. 3. A new, improved leisure centre is built with the proceeds of the sale of land. 4. Redruth school gets a running track. 5. A price war between Asda & Tesco will drive down prices for the people! Rob_74
  • Score: 5

10:09pm Fri 21 Mar 14

Harri_bow says...

I agree with you Rob. The cinema's in Cornwall could be so much better. They are in lovely buildings, but it is such a shame that they are run down and expensive. A bit of competition would be healthy for them. They have enough supporters to keep them going, which is fantastic, but give everyone else who doesn't enjoy the experience an option!
I agree with you Rob. The cinema's in Cornwall could be so much better. They are in lovely buildings, but it is such a shame that they are run down and expensive. A bit of competition would be healthy for them. They have enough supporters to keep them going, which is fantastic, but give everyone else who doesn't enjoy the experience an option! Harri_bow
  • Score: 2

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