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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 10:31 GMT 11:31 UK
Boy, 13, wants local cinema back
A 13-year-old boy is at the forefront of a campaign to bring back a Kent town's local cinema.

Kieron Butler, from Gravesend, has collected a 1,500-signature petition for the Majestic in King Street, which closed three years ago, to reopen.

The premises were damaged in a recent fire and the teenager wants Gravesham Council to redevelop the site.

But council leader, John Burden, said the cinema had closed down because it was not making enough money.

Fire damage

Kieron said he used to regularly visit the cinema and remembered having "a really good time".

He said his aim was to give local people somewhere to go as cinemas at the nearby Bluewater shopping complex were too expensive and travel costs also had to be taken into account.

The 75-year-old cinema closed its doors in September 2003 after struggling with the competition from Bluewater.

The premises, which have been empty for most of the time since then, were gutted by a fire in January.

'Commercially viable'

Kieron's single-handed campaign has attracted a great deal of local interest from people who say the cinema is part of the town's heritage and there is no other entertainment venue.

He plans to pass his petition to local councillors once he has gathered more signatures.

Mr Burden said although he thought Kieron's campaign was very worthwhile, evidence needed to be given to developers that reopening the cinema would be commercially viable.

He said councillors were looking at other options of bringing a cinema to a location within the borough of Gravesham.


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