There has been a big fuss locally at the news that the EMD was broken into by squatters at the weekend. They were eventually persuaded to leave, but not before quite a bit of internal damage was discovered, a fair bit of it seemingly not being their fault.
There is a picture on the internet of flooding in the main auditorium. I have no idea whether the person who took it had the permisison of the owners to enter their property, but it is a talking point and reminder that a solution to the scandal of the derelict cinema has eluded our Labour Council for many many years, despite lots of talk and promises.
It is no excuse for the squattters entering the premises, of course, but I do note a lack of places locally for young people to do their stuff and push the boundaries which don't either cost money or involve putting up with the deadening hand of the local authority or self-appointed community leaders trying to sanitise them. Given the fairly bohemian traditions locally and the popularity of squatting (squatters have from time to time been attracted to the Dominion Cinema, another derelict local cinema, but with much less interest from the police or our local political leaders), I am not surprised. Old cinemas have always been of interest to people who like to take over large spaces for parties and 'raves', which is what the local paper are saying the police stepped in and prevented over the weekend.
(Surely there is a more modern word for such events by the cool would-be twenty-first century hepcats bent on liberating space, kicking back at the squares, thumbing their mobiles at authority and generally wiggling their wobbly bits and brains about to whatever the current music is?)
Update 8 February 2013: the cinema is for sale, with offers sought in the region of £1.5million.