This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 25/01/2018.
It’s happening! Crystal Palace is finally set to get a cinema again and here’s what to expect
After 50 years without a cinema, Crystal Palace is set to get a new venue with four screens.
A provider has been found to run a new cinema in Crystal Palace after eight years of tireless campaigning by local residents.
Everyman, which runs 22 cinemas across England, has provisionally exchanged contracts to open a cinema in the former bingo hall in Church Road.
The building was previously a cinema for 40 years before it closed in 1968, leaving the town without a big-screen cinema for more than 50 years.
The Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), who own the building, had previously applied to convert it into a church but the plans were rejected by Bromley Council last February.
The KICC then disposed of its freehold of the property, opening the way for the long-standing Picture Palace Campaign to submit a bid to turn it into a professionally-run cinema.
Picturehouse Cinemas made several approaches to the church to purchase the building last year and said in 2016 that it would still be interested in buying the premises – but it never made a formal offer and Everyman exchanged contracts on Wednesday (January 24).
The operator, which recently re-opened its Oxted cinema after a £2 million makeover, has said it will create a four-screen cinema inside the venue but has not yet announced when it will open.
Everyman’s cinemas all have comfortable sofa-style seats in their screens, which come with cushions and side-tables for snacks.
Its newer venues also come with the best projection and sound technology you can get – Sony 4K projection and Dolby 7.1 surround sound – as standard.
And every branch additionally has a menu of hot and cold food, including pizza, burgers and hot dogs.
Explaining what the chain’s cinemas are like, Everyman CEO Crispin Lilley said: “It’s very much about a hospitality-led experience from start to finish.
“It really is about a full night out that people will really enjoy.”
Annabel Sidney, chair of the Picture Palace campaign, said the “exciting” news was the result of tireless work by hundreds of people.
She said: “It’s really exciting – this is the news we have long been campaigning and hoping for.
“We’ve always been optimistic about bringing a cinema back to Crystal Palace for the first time in more than 50 years.
“It has been a cast of thousands and we absolutely couldn’t have done it without the help of everyone who has supported us and has been involved in the campaign over the past eight years.”