'˜Catastrophic' losses for Peterborough desserts company after drive-in cinema cancels

A city desserts firm believes it may have lost more than £35,000 after the sudden cancellation of a drive-in cinema.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 5:05 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 8:21 am
A Desserts R Us van
A Desserts R Us van

Desserts R Us in Fengate said the late withdrawal of Moonlight Drive-in Cinema in Serpentine Green will have a “catastrophic outcome” for the small, family business.

Ticket holders are also fuming after turning out at the shopping centre on Tuesday evening to watch festive film Elf, only to discover the whole week’s worth of festive screenings had been pulled without them being notified.

The only warnings had come from social media posts by Serpentine Green a few hours earlier, with the centre stating that the films had been cancelled due to circumstances “beyond our control”.

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Customers were today contacting the Peterborough Telegraph as they were unable to get hold of anyone at Moonlight to find out if they will receive refunds.

The firm has also cancelled screenings in Wakefield and Doncaster this week.

Desserts R Us had bought a week’s worth of stock after paying a £500 booking fee to sell each night at the cinema.

The firm, which turned down offers to cater for corporate parties because the dates clashed with the films, had expected to sell thousands of pounds worth of desserts a night from its van. It had also booked a driver for the week.

Manager Shabs Akhtar said: “We had anticipated a great revenue from the cinema which was due to play two screenings every evening all week. Unfortunately, as they didn’t show up this has led to a catastrophic outcome for us as a small business.

“Many of our customers like ourselves are extremely unhappy with the cinema and also out of pocket.

“We hope that a solution will be found quickly.”

Celia Willmott from Long Sutton had paid for daughter Eden (18) and her boyfriend to see Elf. Celia said: “She was in the festive spirit, but now we’ve been left out of pocket for £40. It leaves a bitter taste just before Christmas.”

Murdo MacLeod said he was “very disappointed” to miss seeing The Muppet Christmas Carol with his wife, while Suzanne Mehew said: “£30 each car is a lot of money to lose at this time of year.”

Serpentine Green said it was “really sorry” customers had been “let down” and that it has been unable to contact Moonlight. It is advising customers to contact Citizens Advice.

The PT has also been unable to get hold of Moonlight, but the firm has emailed customers apologising for “any inconvenience”. The email adds: “We aim to be in touch shortly with more information.”