News came shortly before going to press that the Film Theatre at the Corn Exchange would cease to operate at the end of September. This is a sad loss to the cultural mix which Ipswich can offer. When programmed at its best, the Film Theatre was a facility of metropolitan standard: all the best films released in Britain came to Ipswich. Now the majority of high quality films for grown-ups won't be seen here unless some alternative arrangements can be made - a shame because film is surely the most dynamic medium today in all the serious arts.
I report this demise without specific blame. Yes, IBC having set up Ipswich Film Theatre in 1975 could have done better in promoting it, but they kept it going when many councils wouldn't have done so, while public money has got ever tighter. Yes, Hollywood Cinemas, despite some good efforts, could have run it better in these last two years. But above all the potential audience of discriminating cinemagoers in Ipswich has failed to grow - for many different reasons, some understandable and some bad. At present it looks as if Ipswich Film Society will be left to carry the flag for 'Arthouse Cinema' or 'World Cinema'. However, I hope a satisfactory alternative venue and facility can be created quite soon.