Our King Street Cinema Must be Saved!
MP Andy Slaughter calls for building to be preserved for future generations
The Cinema Exhibitor’s Association invited me for a tour of my local cinema, which in my case means the Cineworld in King Street. As I have been going there for 40 years as a punter you might think there was not much to find out. You’d be wrong.
Of course the King St cinema has recently been saved – at least for the time being – from demolition, when the GLA vetoed the Council’s plan to demolish it and build luxury flats – and offices for themselves. But now Tesco, who owned the freehold, have sold it. I am waiting to find out to whom.
The cinema is thriving, with four screens and 1200 seats, but Cineworld only have a rolling one-year lease so can’t invest in it as they would wish. Nevertheless the three remaining 35mm projectors will be replaced with digital equipment (allowing 3D) this summer.
But if Cineworld had a long lease they could upgrade the existing screens and possibly develop the huge derelict space at the back of the site, which used to be a theatre when the building opened in the 1930s.
With manager Abid Rasul I toured the whole building including the old theatre and projection rooms. It is a fantastic, historic building and must be saved for future generations.
February 24, 2012