13 December 2015

Faded glory

After twelve years, the EMD cinema finally opened its doors on Thursday and you can just walk in, order a drink and hang out. If anything the interior is better than my dim recollections led me to believe. So what I think is, never mind expensive restoration. This is great just the way it is, faded grandeur that ought to stay faded. Sure, put in some decent carpet, fix the heating system, and get a really amazing modern chandelier to replace the rather pathetic thing that's up there now, even rip out the ticket booth if it doesn't work with the space. Only don't try to make it look new. The way it is, it's an unexpected survival from the past, not a boring downmarket bit of the past but something actually quite special. But it's no architectural masterpiece: newly painted and gilded, it will just be tacky. That's what I think anyway, for what it's worth - I just hope Antic are thinking the same thing.

Added later in response to comments on Facebook: My point really is it's in quite good condition, all the plaster decoration is intact and the paintwork has a lovely worn look, like a National Trust house that you wouldn't dream of redecorating. That shouldn't stop some nice modern touches and new furniture going in to complement the decor and bring it up to date. Mention of Antic's Chequers in the High Street does make me think how wrong this could go, though. I quite like the Chequers as a pub but the shabby chic approach would be a mistake here.