CAMPAIGNERS FIGHTING for a cinema in Crystal Palace have nominated the former cinema at 25 Church Road as an asset of community value.
Bromley council are being asked to list the one-time Rialto under the provisions of the Community Right to Bid set out in the Localism Act.
The move – the latest in the long-running campaign to bring a cinema back to Crystal Palace – means that if Bromley grant the request, the building cannot be sold without the community being given the opportunity to bid for it.
“The building is the only large purpose built D2 entertainment venue in the town centre, a landmark with a long history of serving the community, providing local entertainment from its roots as a 1930s art deco cinema through to its use as a bingo hall as recently as 2009” say the campaign.
“In the past it has made a major contribution to the social, economic, cultural and recreational life of the district centre and must continue to do so in its future.
“It forms an integral part of the historic character of the town centre and its architectural and cultural heritage should be preserved and enhanced.
“It is OUR shared heritage.
“For this reason, earlier this month, the Picture Palace Campaign committee set up ‘Cinema for Crystal Palace’ Ltd, a not-for-profit social enterprise which has nominated 25 Church Road for listing by Bromley council as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ under the provisions of The Community Right to Bid set out in the Localism Act.
“If our application is successful, the building which started life as the Rialto cinema and which has served generations of Crystal Palace residents as an entertainment venue cannot be sold without the community being given the opportunity to bid for it.
“We also hope it will prevent any further attempts to change its use.
“KICC (Kingsway International Christian Centre) have owned the premises for more than four years.
“In that time they have only held five events of which three fell outside the lawful use of the building. “For the remainder of the time the building is shut, unused and lights off.
“This is a disgraceful state of affairs especially for a charity. “We suspect that KICC is under pressure to justify their investment in the building.
“They are clearly struggling to deliver their charitable objects at the building because it has the wrong planning use.
“Currently, KICC does not hold a premises licence for the building,nor do they pay business rates.
“Finally, we would like to thank supporters for continuing to apply pressure on Bromley council to ensure that the building is used within its lawful use class.”
The Picture Palace Campaign will be setting up stall again outside Sainsbury’s, Westow Street SE19 on Saturday November 30th from 10am to 4pm.
In the meantime, they are looking at bringing a programme of Open Air Cinema to Crystal Palace Park for Summer 2014. If you would like to get involved with the Campaign or the Open Air Cinema, please feel free to contact the campaign at [email protected]