You may have read in this week’s Thanet Times and Your Thanet, the news that the parent company behind Westgate’s Carlton Cinema, RealTime Cinemas, has gone into administration.
A local landmark since 1910, the Carlton represents an important piece of local entertainment history which has fond memories for many generations of Thanet residents, me included.
The important thing to be aware of first is that the cinema remains open while the administrator, Mark Goldstein looks for interested parties who may wish to acquire it as a going concern and welcomes sensible offers. If the story that Thanet has more millionaires per square mile than anywhere else in Kent, than perhaps one of these might be attracted by a bargain philanthropic opportunity in the cinema business. Eastcliff Richard perhaps?
As a concerned local councillor, I met with Mr Goldstein this afternoon and while these are difficult times, there is always hope that a local gem, such as the Carlton can be saved for future generations; after all, most recently, impresario, Kevin Crace stepped in to save the Westgate Pavillion which had an uncertain future.
I have one request for any reader that wishes to help to save the Carlton and that is, to please use it. It’s only to be expected that in a recession people cut back from the luxuries of eating out and going to the cinema but if you can make an effort to support it by going to see a movie in the coming month or so I’m sure that would be a great help in illustrating how much a part of the community it is and as a consequence, how worthwhile it may be as a potential business investment for the future for anyone who might be attracted to the idea.
In the meantime, Mr Goldstein has promised to keep me up-to-speed with the administration and its ultimate direction.