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The future of the Cinema Museum in Kennington is under threat - Katharine Ford tells us why it needs to be saved (and how you can help).

So, the London Society are voting on their favourite film that uses London as its backdrop – now that’s what we call an important election proposition! The Cinema Museum loves our city and it loves all conversations that are film and cinema-related.  Who doesn’t like a trip to the cinema or the escape of a fabulous film – but its potential for positive social change far out-punches its ability to amuse and entertain. The experience of film and cinema is universally loved and universally accessible; it offers education, provocation and a call to arms; it offers alternative perspectives, ideas and solutions – in the right hands it can mobilise movements and change lives. Film and cinema provides an egalitarian space for important conversations; for sharing hopes, fears and ambitions.

The Museum uses its beautiful G2 listed workhouse buildings and its collections to facilitate those conversations and help support positive social change. Our country is becoming polarised and people are angry. At local level, our own community is angered by the regeneration surrounding the wider piece of land that our Museum sits on – if we win our battle to ‘save The Cinema Museum’ then our role will be to help the existing residents and the new residents find a way to make happy new memories together.

Regeneration can’t be left to construction companies - it is not just about giving people homes – it is about putting some sustainable soul into the mix – not just for the grand opening, but for generations to come.  London is at risk of loosing so much of its soul and we are at a time when it is important to bring people together – The Cinema Museum believes it provides solutions to those challenges. We see the Museum playing a strong role as an agent of place-making for the new Elephant & Castle development master plan and the regeneration of Kennington – we bring a treasure trove of artefacts, memories, experiences, events, screenings, celebrity supporters and educational and therapeutic programmes.  Our Grade 2 listed buildings, the Old Lambeth Workhouse (and home to Charlie Chaplin and his mother and brother when they fell on hard times) is a jewel for even the grandest crown!

So, please: vote for your favourite film; come to The Cinema Museum; see our extraordinary collection; tour the ‘plot of planning contention’ that is our home; experience our beautiful buildings and give us feedback on our own development plans for the Museum. Let’s have that conversation – and perhaps, if you like, lets watch that film! 

But right now – and I mean right now, please vote for The Cinema Museum – we are more important now than we have ever been. Our ‘Save The Cinema Museum’ petition is online - just Google ‘save the cinema museum’ or use this link https://www.change.org/p/matthew-patrick-slam-nhs-uk-love-cinema-save-the-cinema-museum

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