Ronnie Corbett calls for campaign to save David Lean Cinema

Ronnie Corbett, Croydon’s biggest resident celebrity (get in!), tonight turned on the local council, describing its decision to close the David Lean Cinema as “monstrous”.

Corbett, a true National Treasure at the age of 80, gave an exclusive interview to Inside Croydon (and more than  60 others) at the David Lean Cinema in the Clock Tower Arts Centre that is doomed under cut backs ordered by Croydon’s Head of Philistinism, Councillor Sara “Book Token” Bashford.

Corbett was at a showing of Brief Encounter, the film directed by Croydon-born Oscar-winner David Lean. It was the final Lean film to be shown at the cinema bearing his name before Bashford orders the venue to be shut this Thursday.

“We must start a campaign so that this darling place isn’t trashed,” the veteran comedian told the audience after the viewing of the Celia Johnson-Trevor Howard classic movie.

“What a waste it is that it isn’t going to be further treasured,” Corbett said, to a round of applause from another packed audience in the farewell season.

Corbett said it was “a monstrous decision” to close the small, comfortable and intimate venue. “And there are precious few of those in Croydon,” he added.

Corbett, 5ft 1in, clearly had not been taken in by some reports in less reliable publications that the David Lean was to be moved to the Fairfield Halls – none of the staff, including those who have worked on developing the cinema’s distinctive, art-house programme over the past 16 years, will be employed beyond this week.

And as Inside Croydon revealed a week ago, there is still no formal agreement in place with the Fairfield Halls, where it is expected that the only concession to having an independent cinema will be to wheel in a projector to the Ashcroft Theatre on afternoons when there is no other booking.

Here at Inside Croydon, we like to think we try to support the little guy. So who better to back than Croydon’s much-loved comedian, as we try to force the council to see sense and force the re-opening of the David Lean Cinema?

We see this as one step towards getting the council to step back from its anti-culture programme of penny-wise but pound-foolish, dogma-driven cuts.

Please take part in our open and transparent consultation by clicking on our online poll.

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Ronnie Corbett calls for campaign to save David Lean Cinema

  1. I was there and it was a memorable evening that distracted us from the gloom of the impending closure.

    I was delighted to hear RC sound so passionate about saving the cinema and it would be great if he’s willing to publicly endorse the sort of campaign he called for – let’s make it happen!

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