When I was a little girl, my mother and I lived in a small village close to Uppsala in Sweden. Our flat was above a cinema called the Red Mill. I went to every film that was shown (even if they were 18s, no one seemed to mind). It was there I saw unforgettables like The Omen (I am still terrified of black labradors) and Grease. My mother was less enthusiastic. Even now if someone asks her if she’s seen a film she often replies; “No, but I’ve heard it.”
So maybe I have a particlularly romantic attachment to cinemas. But I am heartbroken to hear that the Tiverton Tivoli is going to close. Last night we went there to see Shrek The Third. The Tivoli is what I call a proper cinema where you get proper popcorn (ie not in bags or doused with toffee) and the same person who sells you the tickets comes in with a tray of ice-creams after the ads as the words INTERMISSION flash up in old-fashioned writing on the big screen.
The children love it. “This is the best cimena,” they all agreed. For some reason cinema is a word they cannot pronounce.
They have been showing films at the Tiverton Tivoli since 1932. Now of course the land is so valuable the owners would make much more money selling it for housing. In nine days’ time the lease expires and I fear the cimena is doomed.
There is some hope that an independent cinema chain will step in, but not much. This is just the kind of thing I would step in and save if I were a multi-millionaire. Maybe you could even create a Tiverton Film Festival. Now there’s a thought. Forget Cannes and Venice, Tiverton is where it’s at.
Anyone interested in helping please visit www.savethetivoli.co.uk
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007