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Campaigners demand answers after Penarth Pier Pavilion opening hours cut and cinema closed

It enjoyed a major refurbishment just a few years ago, but now a question mark is hanging over Penarth Pier Pavilion after changes to its opening hours.

The building will now be closed Mondays to Wednesdays, and the cinema there is closed for the summer.

The cinema was built as part of a £4.2m refurbishment

The pavilion is run by charity Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd (PACL), which leases the building from Vale of Glamorgan Council.

PACL says the cinema is losing too much money - but campaigners have vowed to try to turn things around.

The sudden changes have prompted an outcry from residents and fans of the pavilion.

A petition to reopen the cinema has attracted more than 1,600 signatures at the time of writing.

On Monday night, two separate public meetings were held for people to raise their concerns.

"In our view the Pavilion is such a superb building. It can be used for so many more activities. It can involve all sectors of the community, we can have many more schools, not just from this area but coming in from the Valleys."

"It should be open seven days a week.

– Nicki Page, campaigner
Inside the pavilion

It's not just campaigners who are concerned. Local businesses stress the importance of the pier and pavilion in attracting tourists to the area.

We need the pavilion open, we need the cinema, we need the cafe. The volunteers do a really good job.

The politics behind it is something I can't comment on, but the beauty of the building and the pier is absolutely unique to the people and the tourists that come here, because they just can't believe what they see..

– Phil Rees

We asked PACL for an interview, but didn't get a response.

In a statement of its website, it says the cinema in its current form doesn't make enough money.

The last three years have shown quite clearly that with the limited capacity of the 68 seat Cinema the income from ticket sales will never be enough to cover the costs of running the Cinema.

As a registered charity we cannot continue to provide facilities that are uneconomical as is the case with the Cinema.

We have therefore drawn up a plan to secure additional independent financial support from a variety of possible sources.

– Penarth Arts & Crafts Limited

The charity says it does want to reopen the cinema "sooner rather than later".

But with little news on the horizon, campaigners wonder quite how soon that will be.