OPINION: REJOICE!!!! – but don’t get too carried away by this decision……
The people of Crystal Palace were hoping for good news over the appeal by KICC. It wasn’t a foregone conclusion. It was probably only going to come down to the parking – wasn’t it?
Er – no. What the people of Crystal Palace got was one of the best bits of news they have had in ages – and an inspector’s report which smashed to smithereens all the arguments put forward by KICC and their advisers.
BANG! There is local support for a community cinema or other entertainment use.
BANG! The local area is already well-provided for places of worship with about 10 in the SE19 area.
BANG! Many of the events staged at 25 Church Road “appear to have a strong element of worship.”
So what’s next?
Well, KICC will almost certainly appeal their decision to the High Court. And if past history is anything to go by they will wait until the last possible moment to do so.
Each and every individual Bromley councillor from across the borough will also need to examine the inspector’s report very, very closely.
It is a template not just for Crystal Palace but for every other part of the borough of Bromley – and beyond.
Bromley council also need to – finally – get their act together and stop waiting off-set as KICC put on another event…and another…and another….
They are not going to go away.
KICC have pulled every stunt in the book – and some that won’t make it until the next reprint – to keep hold of the premises at 25 Church Road and put on all sorts of events.
OK, so the widely-advertised burlesque event featuring the Folly Mixtures didn’t actually take place (it was apparently scrapped two days beforehand).
Before the Inspector’s report was published, KICC appear to think that winning the planning appeal was just a formality.
Earlier this month the following – quite frankly bizarre -appeared on the KICC website: It may make you very angry – and would be laughable if it was not so serious: The unedited version – News From Crystal Palace have highlighted one line in bold type – reads:
When you come to The Open Door, you are not simply coming to a ‘cinema’ – you are coming to an event.
The Open Door is Crystal Palace’s long awaited cinema venue. Local residents and politicians have long campaigned for it and now it is here. However, The Open Door is no ordinary cinema. Set in the beautifully restored former Rialto Cinema, which was built by A.C. Matthews in the 1920’s, The Open Door is a unique combination of movie theatre and bistro buffet restaurant.
For those who do not wish to dine, The Open Door balcony will transport them back in time to the heyday of cinema. They can enjoy their popcorn high above our 30-foot wide silver screen and watch movies on the big screen in a way that is simply not on offer in the multi-screen cinema complexes. Not only will the best new movie releases be shown at The Open Door, but also live satellite broadcast events such as: ballets, Shakespeare plays, Ted Talks, documentaries, film premieres, film previews and director’s Q&A screenings. There is so much to tell you about The Open Door that we invite you to pop by and watch a movie and experience The Open Door for yourself. From 29 April 2016 The Open Door Cinema will be screening the US Box Office hit movie God’s Not Dead 2 at 1.00pm, 4.00pm, 7.00pm and 10.00pm.
….AND NOW THERE’S THIS:
I write firstly to introduce myself. I am George Hargreaves, Chief Executive of The Christian Cinema Charitable Trust.
The Christian Cinema Charitable Trust is a charity whose purpose is to help churches that own former cinemas to continue the tradition of showing movies in those often iconic settings, for the benefit of the entire local community.* With this aim in mind The Christian Cinema Charitable Trust is working with Kingsway International Christian Centre to launch The Open Door Cinema at 25 Church Road, SE19 2TE; the former site of the Rialto Cinema.
Secondly, I would like to invite you and a group of your young people to the UK Charity Premiere of the new movie GOD’S NOT DEAD 2 on Friday, 22nd April 2016 in the presence of stars of the movie Paul Kwo (Michael Yip) and Trisha LaFache (Amy Ryan).
This free of charge invitation has been made possible through the generosity of Kingdom Cinema Equipment Ltd, who have sponsored 100 ticket (at £30 each) for the local Christian community. Initially, we can allocate up 10 (ten) tickets per church. Additional ticket can be purchased online at
The free tickets are on a first come, first serve basis; with two provisos: 1, All attendees must dress appropriately for a Gala Premiere (no jeans, trainers, etc.). 2. Unused tickets will be paid for, if not return at least by noon on Thursday, 21st April 2016.
The Premiere is a fundraiser for the charity Christian Concern.so all additional tickets purchased will be for a very worthy cause.
My entire team and I would love to see you at The Open Door Cinema on the 22nd April and are very much hoping you and some of your young people will walk the red carpet with and the stars of GOD’S NOT DEAD 2..
Yours in Christ’s service, Rev Dr George Hargreaves
And what was it the inspector said in her report?
“The appellant has provided evidence to indicate that there is no demand for a cinema of this size with a single auditorium.”
As Richard Littlejohn might say: “You couldn’t make it up.”
*bold type by News From Crystal Palace