A cinema for Crystal Palace?

Latest -

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:

(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.

Bookmark and Share

Latest stories

CPCA legal challenge over Park housing  Posted - February 2012

The Crystal Palace Community Association is challenging the decision of the Secretary of State to approve sale of protected public parkland for construction of luxury apartments, under London Development Agency Masterplan proposal for Crystal Palace Park.

>> Full story here

CPCA responds to Bromley's 'Core Strategy' consultation  Posted - December 2011

The London Borough of Bromley has begun the process of producing their 'Core Strategy' document for the Borough. This document will help determine the long-term planning strategy for the Borough and its conclusions will be incorporated into their Local Development Framework (LDF) - a replacement for the current Unitary Development Plan (UDP).

>> Full story here

Upper Norwood Library faces closure and sale after Croydon withdraw funding  Posted - November 2011

The unilateral decision by Croydon Council to 'terminate' the Upper Norwood Library Joint Agreement was, according to Croydon, the direct consequence of '...fundamental breach of the agreement by Lambeth Council'. Such breach, according to Croydon, was the refusal by Lambeth Council 'to attend the last Annual General Meeting and failing to co-operate at the 2010 meeting.'

>> Full story here

Re-run AGM farce as Croydon refuses to honour Joint Library Agreement  Posted - September 2011

Croydon Council's continuing failure to meet the terms of their partnership agreement with Lambeth Council, caused yet another meeting of The Upper Norwood Joint Library Committee to be abandoned last Thursday, the 15 September, when more than seventy people attended the Library Annual General Meeting, where the future of the 111-year old Library was to be considered.

>> Full story here

CPCA to challenge Secretary of State's approval for 180 luxury flats in Crystal Palace Park  Posted - January 2011

Following the Secretary of State's Formal Decision to grant planning permission to the LDA Masterplan application for Crystal Palace Park, the CPCA have been advised that there are powerful legal grounds to challenge this in the High Court. It is currently preparing evidence and other material to tight deadlines and urgently considering the matter of costs.

>> Full story here

Older news
Please see our Archive pages