OUT IN THE FIELD: Let’s try and save Curzon Cinema from closure

People queued to see James Bond's Live and Let Die at the Curzon SUS-191031-124539001
People queued to see James Bond's Live and Let Die at the Curzon SUS-191031-124539001

Lots of people have been whispering in my ear this week. It started with my swimming pal Joan who whispered, “Mine’s the 1812 Overture” as we crossed paths in the Sovereign Centre. “Mine’s Flying without Wings,” said another friend. “Who wants to Live Forever?,” said my cousin while another of the rellies opted for Robbie Williams’ Angels. My favourite though was the tune chosen by Himself: “I’m Going Underground, you can get them to play that one.” They were all of course referring to the songs they want played at their funeral following on from last week’s column when I spoke about how important it is to let your loved ones know what you want in the event of your death – in addition to making a will obviously. I had a great response from people from all over. Some called me morbid, others said they couldn’t give a flying fig about what happened to them once they were dead. Gerald Shepherd from Milfoil Drive suggested donating my body to science (what a wonderful idea to know you might be able to give the gift of life to somebody or help with research). One lovely lady, Joanne Allerston, went further however and sent me a copy of a booklet available from Age UK called a LifeBook. The booklet lets you record the practical details of your life, your funeral wishes, people to contact and where important documents are stored etc. It has sections for finances, possessions and your final wishes and also where people can record their thoughts about love ones. It is no substitute for a will but it’s an easy to use and safe method of recording information which can be updated. I think it’s a wonderful idea and people can order it free of charge on 0345 685 1061 and quote ALL025 to get a copy.

Such sad news that the Curzon Cinema in Langney Road may be forced to close at the end of next summer because of a lack of customers. I was actually an ABC Minor at the neighbouring cinema round the corner in Pevensey Road where you could get in for free if it was your birthday and sing along to the old Pearl & Dean advert. But like most people of my age, I also used to frequent the Curzon as it became in 1970 after it was originally called the Picturedrome for 50 years. I think my Dad took me to see Flash Gordon there way back when. Some might say it was inevitable the Curzon would close with Cineworld moving from the Harbour site to the town centre. But I and many others have had conversations about the cinema being taken over and turned into a kind of Picturehouse type of venue with a cafe, bar or restaurant alongside events for all the community as well as films. It’s been done in other places so why not Eastbourne? Surely somebody or some organisation could take it on as a community interest company or such like and turn its fortunes around. Just look at the great success story Eastbourne’s Royal Hippodrome Theatre has become after years in the doldrums. It would be such a dreadful waste to see the Curzon closed down, demolished and replaced with yet another ugly soul-less block of flats.