An asteroid hit Astor

An asteroid hit Astor

Aug 11, 2017 Features / Columnists, Peeping Tom, http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....-asteroid-hit-astor/

Astor Cinema was closed a long time before it was sold. It was not the sale that led to the closure of Astor. What the sale precipitated was the vandalizing of the building.

No sooner had it been announced that the Astor Cinema was sold, vandals descended upon the location – private property – and within two days had totally degutted the entire interior of the building, the roof, and the northern and eastern walls, leaving just a small piece of the southern wall and parts of the front façade of the building. The vandals did in two days what it probably would have taken a week for a demolition crew to have done. It was as if an asteroid had struck that cinema.

All of this was done, as we are now learning, without the consent of the owner. Now suppose the owners did not want the building demolished. Supposed they had planned to do repairs and to renovate it for some other purpose. Look what has happened, the entire building has been stolen from them by vandals.

What is now standing is a shell which can fall at any time and cause injury to passersby. And guess who will be held responsible for this? Yes, the very owners who had nothing to do with the stripping of that building in a matter of days.

For those who are feeling nostalgic about Astor disappearing, do not blame the owners. Blame the vandals who invaded that property like hawks and stripped it to the bare bones.

Guess where most of the materials that were taken from that property will end up? It will end up being used to build structures for persons who want to squat on public lands, including parapets.

A historic structure was vandalized. The materials will now contribute to further lawlessness in the country. One building was stripped and is now being used to erect multiple structures on lands illegally occupied.

The owners have lost. Even if they had intended to pull down the structure, it is usual for the owners to sell the building – not the land – and to have the person who has bought the building absorb the cost of its removal. The owners have lost millions.

The structure was valuable. The old cinema was not condemned. It was still being managed. It may have needed a coat of paint. But it still was worth tens of millions.

There is a total disregard for private property in Guyana. Ownership rights are not respected.

There are persons in Tiger Bay who left good properties and went abroad, only to find that it has been invaded by squatters who refuse to remove. Assets worth millions of dollars have been invaded by squatters.

An entire block in Tiger Bay has become a squatter settlement.

If you make the mistake of going overseas and leaving your local property unattended, you may come back and find that trespassers have taken over the entire property and turned it into a slum dwelling. Many persons have decided it is not worth the trouble to spend years in court trying to remove the squatters.

Some owners have returned to find that their properties have new owners. The properties were sold behind their backs. The new owners even have transport giving them rights to someone else’s property.

A lot of people will have fond memories of Astor. The good times will be recalled, as will be the great movies which were shown on the large screen.

Astor showed its last movie four years ago. It had indicated five years before that it would end. Astor’s demise, however, was long in the making, decades in the making.

Astor went out in dramatic style. The plebs who had long been its most faithful fans, simply took the building apart in a matter of days.

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