CAMPAIGNERS trying to save a cinema from closure won a major victory after a pub conversion bid was thrown out.
Almost 3,000 people had signed a petition against the plans for the Picturedrome in Holmfirth.
Some of the protesters waved banners outside a meeting in Huddersfield Methodist Mission in Lord Street where Kirklees councillors reached their decision.
Pubs giant Wetherspoon was refused planning permission to turn the Picturedrome into a pub because of worries over delivery lorries.
They would have to back in from the town's main Victoria Street, sparking fears of traffic chaos.
Opponents of the pub plan said they were delighted with the refusal, but recognised it was just round one.
They now want talks with Picturedrome owner Peter Carr over keeping the building as a community asset.
Holmfirth businessman Greg Christofi, who started the protest petition, said: "I'm very happy with the decision, but we have to realise they are likely to appeal.
"We have to get organised. We have to get an experienced planning consultant to help us.
"We're convinced the Picturedrome has a future as a cinema, theatre, live music venue and a place for the community to use."
Councillors reached their decision after visiting Holmfirth to see potential problems for themselves.
Mr Carr wants to sell up after eight years running the Picturedrome because he says it is no longer viable to show films.
Holmfirth Tory councillor Ken Sims said he was dismayed by the pub application.
Labour councillor Molly Walton said traffic in Holmfirth could get worse if the building became a pub.
But she added: "No-one can force Mr Carr to stay. He's running a business, not a charity."
Caroline Anstey, who runs a toy shop in Holmfirth, said later that no-one was criticising Mr Carr.
She said a Wetherspoons would worsen the problems fuelled by alcohol which the town already experienced.
She added: "We have a lot of shop windows smashed, especially at weekends, and people being sick in doorways. We say don't let Wetherspoons in. It will just encourage a binge-drinking culture."
The task was to ensure that the Picturedrome survived as a thriving entertainment venue, she said.
She went on: "We know there are other people out there interested in buying it."