Oct 18 2014
Like most of you I’m rather saddened that the Coliseum has closed down and that developers are looking to demolish the place to build something else. Plenty of rumours about a Wetherspoon’s or blocks of flats etc, but the planning application simply asks for permission to level the place and start again. The developer has past interests in building Travel Lodges, pubs, retail units and flats, so who knows what he has in mind. Perhaps you would like to bend his ear, his name is Nigel Esterkin and his phone number is 0161 904 7708. Surely the press in North Wales is as astute enough as I am to find out such details, but they would rather write about rumour and hearsay it seems. Perhaps one of the local councillors would like to pick up the phone and put peoples minds at ease. Now this chap isn’t an ogre, he’s a businessman, he invests his money in Wales, and you know what, from what I have seen, he brightens up the places that really need some regeneration.
The Coliseum, as lovely as it was back in 1950’s is a fucking eyesore now, the building itself is close to falling down and as a cinema it leaves a lot to be desired. Even through rose tinted glasses you cannot say that you enjoyed sitting there on those uncomfortable seats in the freezing cold shouting Warwwwwws, whilst being pelted by hard boiled sweets from the little cunts in the cheap seats. The experience was unique, I’ll give you that, but let’s be truly honest, it was also a fucking liability and whichever film you went to see was spoiled. Hence why I have my own home cinema and rarely set foot in a picture house. There have been figures banded about to save the building, around £800k I believe, but what are you saving? A cinema that no fucker goes to because the others in the area are far more comfortable and show the most up-to-date films.
I’ll tell you why this is. Some time ago all cinemas were told by the distributors to change over to digital as film stock is expensive to manhandle and deliver, all the small cinemas simply couldn’t afford to do this, so bye! The fact that the Coliseum managed to carry on for so long is a wonder, and I suppose I should take off my hat to people like Aled who fought tooth and nail to keep the place going. Sadly their efforts were in vain, but the questions you all should be asking is not why we couldn’t save this building for our kids, but the ones I am about to ask you now.
As far as I know, the people of Porthmadog owned this building, we all fought to save it years ago, we all bought a brick, we all had shares! So it begs the question, who sold it? Who got the money from the sale that the people of Porthmadog invested? Someone somewhere has profited, anyone know who?
Given that the people of Porthmadog rally together once again to raise £800k, who will be running the cinema? As well looked after as it was, obviously there was a problem because the place shut down, so the previous administration should have nothing to do with it. They obviously couldn’t be trusted with the upkeep of the building and securing the future supply of revenue, and worse still, not capable of ensuring that the cinema had funds to change over to digital. Does Porthmadog have anyone capable of running it? I doubt it very much, since places like the Ganolfan have died on their arse since Gwynfor died. These places used to be the hub of the community with huge stars every weekend. There is no reason why you shouldn’t see Michael McIntyre or Jimmy Carr in Porthmadog, they play much smaller venues, but the Ganolfan and all other venues in the area are shadows of their former glory, relying on bingo and Slimmers World to survive. So until you have someone dedicated, with the experience and knowledge to run these places, there is hardly any point to waste nearly a million pounds on something that will fail within a few years.
Why aren’t your local councillors fighting to make sure that this building and others like it are not a priority? It seems like the people of Porthmadog are very interested in keeping it, but it also seems that their representation is sadly lacking. Your councillors could work wonders during the upcoming planning stages, making sure that such stipulations like the frontage of the building be saved or rebuilt as it was within the new development, but it seems that nothing is being asked or done.
An astute supporter of the cinema would realise that the building itself is not worthy of saving, its fucked, its old, it needs too much money to be spent on it. So why not fight the battle on a different front? Make sure that the developer has to reinstate the frontage, also provide a cinema within the complex, as I’m sure he will be going for an A3 application once the building is demolished. So there is no reason why there can’t be a cinema there along with a pub and also a bowling alley, perhaps a hotel/flats above. Get into an agreement with Tesco to provide parking, so much could be done. Porthmadog deserves better than a crippled old building that is falling apart.
Remember Porthmadog, you’re no longer hidden away from the world, the city dwelling assholes want a piece of the action and they are not happy with dirty seats and 2 month old films, and neither should you, they and you need more to attract them to the area, because lets face it, since Tesco, Aldi and Lidl opened, there is no other way of making money in town than from catering to the visitors.
Yes, fight for what you want, but fight for the right thing!