Why are cinemas disappearing from our high streets?
Picture houses/Cinema’s used to be at the heart of communities; now they’re almost invisible
How encouraging that film exhibition in the UK is no longer facing the threat of extinction that loomed in the 1980s. Back then, the video revolution ate into audience numbers with its big, chomping top-loader mouth, and many towns woke to discover they were in possession of a brand new bingo hall, but were also one cinema the poorer.
So audiences are going to cinemas now. But where are the cinemas going? The dominance of the multiplexes has had the strange effect of pushing the cinema into the closet — or, more accurately, into the shopping Centre. I’m not here to take issue with the mall multiplex, a phenomenon that began in the US, or with its occasional technical shortcomings, poor staffing issues and so on. But what its popularity has done is to remove cinema from the physical architecture of our towns and cities.
Images of Padstow Cinema in its prime but sadly no longer with us