A cinema for Crystal Palace?


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May 2010

Last December Bromley Council refused Kingsway International Christian Centre's (KICC) application to change the planning status of 25 Church Road from entertainment/leisure to place of worship. Since then, the Picture Palace Campaign, which supports the reinstatement of a cinema on the site, has been raising funds in anticipation of an appeal. The deadline for such an appeal – Monday 21 June – is now fast approaching.

KICC's planning agent has stated that the church is not going to appeal and has not decided what to do with the building, but is looking into the possibility of turning it into an entertainment venue. The Picture Palace Campaign has stated that in this case it 'would appreciate an opportunity to work with the church to ensure any future developments are discussed with the whole community in mind'.

In the event that the church does submit a last-minute appeal, the Campaign is in the process of instructing a planning barrister.

The Campaign plans to hold another public meeting after the 21 June appeal deadline has passed.

December 2009
On 17 December Bromley Council’s Planning Committee rejected Kingsway International Christian Centre’s application to turn the former Gala Bingo Hall into a church. See www.picture-palace.org for further details.

You can see CPCA’s objection to the Change of Use of 25 Church Road here (opens in new window).

The Rialto cinema, Church Road 1940s
The Gala bingo hall at 25 Church Road, SE19 has been sold to an evangelical church. It is understood that an independent cinema operator also put in an offer that was not accepted. The art deco building was originally built in 1928 as a cinema, its beautiful interior designed by the renowned cinema architect George Coles. It currently has a designated D2 planning use (cinema/bingo).

THEN: the Rialto in the 1940s
NOW: a series of protests were held outside the building in June

Cinema demo, June 2009

The church aims to relocate its congregation from Wimbledon, and will shortly submit a planning application to Bromley Council for change of use from community use to a place of worship. Bromley’s Advisory Panel for Conservation Areas (APCA), upon which the CPCA sit, will consider the application before it goes to Bromley Planning.

A campaign has been set up to persuade Bromley to retain the building’s current usage, in the belief that restoring the building as a cinema would support the regeneration and economic growth of the area, and provide an amenity which all members of the community can enjoy.

The campaign is also concerned at the prospect of increased traffic congestion and parking issues that would occur if the premises were used as a place of worship for large numbers of people from outside the area.

More details can be found on the campaign’s website:
www.picture-palace.org

(Thanks to The Transmitter for the protest photo)

Cinema - Press and Comment:


Local Comment (feeling listless):
Interview with Louise Ferguson of the Crystal Palace Picture Palace Campaign

Local press (Streatham Guardian):
Croydon Council reject Crystal Palace cinema conversion plans

Local press (Streatham Guardian):
Croydon Council reject Crystal Palace cinema conversion plans

Local press (Your Local Guardian):
Fresh hope for Crystal Palace cinema campaigners

Local comment (Movie Talk):
Couch Potato Moved by Movie House Campaign

Local comment (The Transmitter):
Cinema campaign meeting -venue packed

Local press (Croydon Guardian):
Church application for Crystal Palace 'cinema' site invalid

Local press (Croydon Guardian):
Church submits planning application for Crystal Palace 'cinema' site

National press (The Independent):
John Walsh: God wants you wealthy – and he'd also like your cinema and a fast car

Local comment (The Bedside Crow):
Built for a Purpose. Bring Back the Rialto.


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