The marquee next to Marlborough's cinema could return after 'vanishing' during the summer

Confused residents say the marquee outside the Parade Cinema disappeared just as quickly as it had arrived when Wiltshire Council ordered that it be taken down.

The council said the canopy was only meant to be a temporary structure and it raised issues with its conservation team.

But now a planning application has been submitted for its return to The Parade.

During the Parade Cinema’s family fun day on July 8, the social space was said to be the only thing keeping families and visitors dry.

If full planning permission is granted, locals hope that the canopy can return to create an atmosphere that has been described as “quite special and magic".

Swindon Advertiser: Plans for the canopy's return.Plans for the canopy's return. (Image: Wiltshire Council)

"I was appalled to read about Wiltshire Council's order to remove The Parade Cinema's marquee," wrote Tony Millett, from Marlborough. "Their order is ridiculous."

Mike James added: “The cinema cannot survive by just revenue created from showing films on its one screen alone."

“The covering opened it up as a valuable social space for those with access needs, young families with child paraphernalia, and for those who just like social space in the great outdoors.”

The Parade Cinema, located in the old Union Reform Chapel building, was formally opened by Queen Camilla, then the Duchess of Cornwall, in December 2021 and it has since become one of Marlborough’s most important cultural centres.

It is used for film screenings (both new releases and old films), live screenings of events, networking events, family fun days, and for its popular bar and café.

Val Compton, who wrote in support of the return of the marquee, said: “The clear awning used does nothing to detract from the architecture and feel of the area, and considering the recent pandemic, it provides safety for people sitting at the tables as the fresh air circulates freely.”

Charles Greig said: “Everything that can be done to support this facility, should be done as it is an invaluable asset to Marlborough."

The deadline for comments on the Parade Cinema’s planning application is Thursday, October 19, and a decision is due to be made on Wednesday, November 15.