Closure fear at Electric Palace

LICENSING WOES: It has been discovered that the Electric Palace is not licensed to sell alcohol in its foyer

LICENSING WOES: It has been discovered that the Electric Palace is not licensed to sell alcohol in its foyer

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BRIDPORT’S Electric Palace could be forced to shut after a licensing glitch.

It has been discovered that the foyer of the historic art deco building, right, is not licensed for the consumption of alcohol, or to play music or show films.

Now the town’s popular venue is calling on its supporters to lobby West Dorset District Council to ensure the licence can be extended.

“The council has called to our attention an anomaly in our premises’ licence,” said owner Peter Hitchin. “We have applied to extend our license to include the foyer and councillors will consider our application at the end of this month.

“However, we believe there may be objections raised to the extension of the licence, so it may be denied. This could mean the Palace would have to close, as income from the bar is often the only profit we make at many events.”

The Palace team, which is always seeking to raise funds for the venue, which has charitable status, but operates on a financial knife-edge, believe that support from the town and audiences could make the difference.

The licence problem was spotted as the Palace was setting up new foyer events like a film club and a philosophy club, in a bid to provide a venue for community events as well as live entertainment.

Mr Hitchin urged supporters to email the licensing authority by February 25 at or by post to WDDC Licensing Office c/o North Quay, Weymouth DT4 8TA.

“Please tell them what the Palace means to you, what events you’ve seen there and how a lively bar and foyer is part of that experience,” he added.

Recent acts at the The Grade II-listed former cinema, completed in 1926, have included artists such as Boy George, Johnny Marr, The Beat, the Kills, the Skatalites, Stiff Little Fingers, Dreadzone, the Proclaimers, Grandmaster Flash and Mr Scruff.

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