A HORROR film shop which frightened off financial backers at Bournemouth Town Hall has won the support of councillors.
Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery opened at the weekend in Boscombe’s Royal Arcade, with genre star Caroline Munro lending her support.
It was the brainchild of Gary Baxter, who came off jobseeker’s allowance and did business training before applying for start-up loans.
But he was forced to run up large debts after Bournemouth council’s Community Finance Company refused him a loan. Mr Baxter says he was told the committee had ‘ethical’ problems with his business.
Now two Conservative councillors for Boscombe West have voiced support for Mr Baxter’s shop, which sells hard-to-find films, memorabilia and masks.
Cllr Chris Wakefield said he had visited the shop and spent “loads of money” on Doctor Who memorabilia.
“I think it’s lovely. It brings something totally different into the Royal Arcade,” said Cllr Wakefield, who said he grew up on the horror films of Peter Cushing.
“I’m all for new business starting up. The quirkier the better and you can’t get more quirky than this. I think it will draw people in for the right reasons.”
Cllr Phil Stanley-Watts questioned the decision not to give the business a £15,000 loan.
“I don’t see or understand why it’s been turned down,” he said.
“The shop’s not in any way harmful to the public. It’s a traditional gothic type of shop and gothic horror is part of this country’s tradition, going back to Frankenstein and Dracula and that type of thing.”
He pointed out that Boscombe was already keen to trade on its links with Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, whose son Percy Byshhe Shelley had nearby Shelley Manor built for his ailing mother.
Mr Baxter said the launch was a “huge success”.
“It’s been brilliant,” he added.
“We’ve had lots of positive feedback and lots of people coming in and having a look and we’re looking forward to having more people come down and see us now we’re open.”