The campaign for the Soho Curzon is irresponsible and ignorant

London is well provided with Curzon cinemas.  There is the Mayfair Curzon, the new Victoria Curzon,  the Bloomsury Curzon (formerly the Renoir), the Curzon Chelsea, and the subject of a recent campaign, the Soho Curzon.  There is also a Curzon cinema in Richmond.  No shortage then of Curzon cinemas.curzonsohoA trip to a Curzon cinema is a specially enjoyable experience.  Beautiful arthouse movies, exceptionally intelligent, well informed staff, well made, proper coffee, and in some cases, buildings with ambience. However,  the Soho Curzon is due to be demolished because it blocks the path of the new railway project, Crossrail.

Outraged cinema goers have launched a campaign, squeaking the cinema must be saved.  I am an avid film fan, who has visited every cinema in London, particularly Curzon cinemas, many times, but I find the behaviour of these campaigners ignorant and foolish.

The Crossrail project is so vital to the UK, that when the government suggested it was an easy way to save 16 billion and should be cancelled, Mayor Boris Johnson was prepared to resign to prevent that happening.

Boris Johnson explained:  “Crossrail will increase London’s rail capacity by about 10 per cent, and generate an estimated £42 billion worth of growth across the country. Even in its construction phase, Crossrail is good for the whole of Britain. Of its 1,600 contracts, 62 per cent have gone to firms outside London – more than half of them small and medium enterprises (SMEs). There are bridges from Shropshire, cranes from Derbyshire, grouting from Coventry, piling from Oldham, lifts from Preston and vast quantities of lubrication from Bournemouth.

The project is responsible for about 55,000 jobs across the country, and it would have been utter insanity to cancel it – not just because of the jobs it creates, but because it is essential if we are to cope with the demands on our transport network.

London will have a million more people in the next 10 years, and without Crossrail the Central line would become so packed and overheated that it would not be fit, under EU rules, for the transport of live animals. It is a vivid and powerful lesson in the vital importance of investing in transport infrastructure, and of driving on ruthlessly with essential schemes: the Tube upgrades, new river crossings, Crossrail Two, and others. They are not just good for London, but for the whole of Britain.”

The Soho Curzon is not even a beautiful building.  The ground floor is cramped and too small.  Once when I was downstairs, the ceiling fell down, and the performance had to be cancelled.  We were given tickets for the following week.  The film screens are two floors down and the whole thing seems like a fire hazard to me, dark, airless and claustrohobic.

The benefits of Crossrail are so overwhelming, what are cinema goers thinking to sacrifice these for a cinema that would vastly benefit from relocation anyway?

Many of the people I talked to on twitter about this, have not even been to the Curzon Soho, nor are they aware of the massive benefits of Crossrail.

Daisy Turvey @DaisyDazied
@angelneptustar @MayorofLondon @Crossrail @38_degrees I am saying independent Cinema should live on. Believe it!

The above comment is typical.  With six Curzon cinemas in London, it is surely no tragedy to relocate the Curzon Soho to a less dangerous building.  The death of independent cinema is not even an issue!

It is depressing that some cinema goers are so ignorant and unwilling to look at the wider picture.  Economic and political ignorance is nothing to be proud of, anyone joining in with this campaign should be ashamed.

4 responses to “The campaign for the Soho Curzon is irresponsible and ignorant

  1. The Soho Curzon is not very nice downstairs. The bar is OK, but the lowest floor where films are shown is at you describe, dark, airless, and a bit scary, Massive renovation needed, the place could be recreated and be ten times better.

    • 55,000 jobs! 42 billion in growth! A link to the south east! Work for British companies! Real danger for the Central line if it isn’t built! But there are actually are people prepared to ignore all these benefits for the sake of ONE CINEMA, who demand that Crossrail is either cancelled, or a hugely expensive detour is designed.

      Yes, there actually are people this stupid, and most of them are campaigning on Boris’s @MayorofLondon timeline right now.

  2. Never been there, but if it is only one of six. It is part of a chain, not an independent cinema.

  3. I know. Jon, most of the people squeaking and squealing about preserving modern cinema haven’t even been to one Curzon cinema, but are mouthing off to play politics.

    Don’t get me wrong! I love the movies shown by the Curzon cinemas, great French films, arthouse type movies that would not be shown elsewhere. But the Soho Curzon is really dilapidated, the ceiling did fall down! It is ripe for relocation, and to suggest Crossrail should be cancelled is utter stupidity. Protestors just want to bash Boris!

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