|Site of proposed cinema in Eltham High Street|
Last week, Royal Greenwich confirmed that:
"Proposals for a new cinema and restaurant development at the heart of Eltham town centre have taken a step forward. The Royal Borough of Greenwich's cabinet voted in favour of proceeding with a planning application to turn a key council-owned building into a cinema complex.
Leading cinema operators have already expressed an interest in the former Co-op department store, which was purchased by the Royal Borough last year. The building is situated in the middle of the High Street and is the focus of proposals to stimulate the local high-street economy and in particular to encourage more residents and visitors to the town during the evening.
The borough held discussions with community representatives about the best possible uses for the building before putting the cinema complex proposal forward."
It went on to say that:
"The cinema proposal is part of a masterplan for Eltham town centre that aims to promote economic growth by developing key sites and making improvements to the area" and that
"The next step is for the council to submit a planning application for this proposal."
The "Eltham Town Centre Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document", which was adopted in April 2012, is available to view or download here.
The only reference I can find in that Masterplan is in Section 10. on St Mary's Place:
"The buildings to the west of Sainsbury’s should be reconfigured for leisure and entertainment uses, such as a cinema, to enable the opening up of the supermarket frontage." (on p23)
So we'll have to wait for the Council's planning application to see any more details about this proposal.
Link to the News Shopper article (22.11.13) on the approval.
Previous to these latest plans, there had been hopes that a cinema would return to the old Coronet site where an Odeon cinema operated, from 1936 to 1981, and then as an independent until 1999. However a cinema was ruled out and a gym, Kinesis, approved earlier this year which opened there earlier this month.
I'm curious to see how the cinema will be made a successful venture when so many smaller suburban cinemas have closed. There was one in Sidcup high street until that closed in recent years (we saw American Beauty there...). Will it go for blockbusters or art films, and would there be enough of a market for either? I guess the type of cinema operator will be key here. I do hope it's a success - it would be great to have a library, swimming pool and cinema all within walking distance.
UPDATE: The plans are now available to view online. A decision will be made by a council planning board at a date yet to be set.