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Campaign for a cinema in Crystal Palace

Discussion in 'London and the South East' started by Guineveretoo, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    For those of you who don't know, there is a campaign to stop the former Bingo Hall on Church Road, Crystal Palace, from being turned into yet another church and church hall but, instead, to restore it to its former use as a cinema.

    This is a link to the campaign website, http://www.campaign.picture-palace.org/, which includes photos of the interior, where you can see some of the original cinema features are in place.

    There is a public meeting today, with a party afterwards, it would seem:

  2. behemoth

    behemoth Buy Urban75 on Ebay

    They should get in touch with the people at Faversham who did exactly that. It is very basic and a slightly odd design, and freezing in winter, but it thrives and is the nicest little cinema I know.

  3. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    The building is perfect, since it used to be a cinema, and still has the right sort of planning permission (D2?) - we have just got to get it away from the church and into the ownership of the cinema people.

    What I can't work out is how the church got to own the building, when it stopped being a bingo hall. I am going to have to ask on the campaign page, I think :)

    Went to the public meeting, but it was a fiasco, because it was so badly organised, and there was not enough room, so we ended up right at the back with the kids and the facepainting, and couldn't hear anything at all.
  4. haushoch

    haushoch Well-Known Member

    I went to the meeting too, I think they were overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who turned up, so the set-up didn't quite cater for that (i.e. loudspeakers were at one end of the room only). I thought the first half of the meeting was excellent (we stood within hearing range). They talked about the campaign, how it had come about, what they had achieved, what the future was, and it was really great to see how it had brought people together. The second half of the meeting was a bit problematic I thought, various speakers on the floor, most representing one political party or other and I felt they used it as a political platform more than bringing much to the campaign. They all said they supported the campaign, so that counts of course.

    The achievements of the campaign are really impressive, they said that 1500 people objected to the planning application for change of use by the church. And that was written objections only, not counting the ones done via the planning website. And I think they're up to 5000 signatures in support of the cinema on their online petition. And more offline. And it's very impressive that they got a lot of political support as well, and the support of Croydon planning.
  5. haushoch

    haushoch Well-Known Member

    The church bought the bingo hall when it was up for sale. As far as I know they outbid the people from the cinema group (who also own the Ritzy & Clapham Picture House). A rep from the cinema group who was at the meeting said they had been trying to secure a site for a cinema in the CP area for 5 years.
  6. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    Yes, I heard that bit, which is why I was questioning.

    If the cinema folks wanted it that bad, why didn't they bid more?

    One of my friends who was at the meeting with me questioned if we were actually being hoodwinked by a commercial organisation who are seeking to gain ownership of the building at a knockdown price, when they are not prepared to pay the commercial rate. On the face of it, as my friend pointed it out, it could be seen to be commerce against the community/church, and I am not sure I am on the right side!
  7. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    Yeah, it was apparent that they didn't cater for the numbers who turned up - where I was sitting was clearly supposed to be in the family/children's area at the back, which, as you say, was not covered by the loudspeakers, and they had tables set up cabaret style throughout the room, rather than having a meeting section at the front.

    I did hear some of what was said, including what I thought was 7000 signature petition (so perhaps I didn't even hear that right!), and the number who have objected, of which I am one.

    However, I was genuinely expecting to hear both sides of the debate, as it was advertised as a public meeting, so I was hoping that someone from the church would be there to explain their plans, and to answer questions about why they think there is a need for another church/community centre. Most churches in this country don't have much money, so there must be a good reason why they think it will be a success.

    Once I was there, it was obvious that it was a campaign meeting, and that the only speakers who those in support of said campaign. It's not really all that helpful that Croydon Council support it, since the building is not in Croydon, and it is easy for them to support the campaign, for the same reason - they haven't got to do anything!

    Having said all that, I genuinely want to see a cinema in Crystal Palace, for personal reasons, and I genuinely believe that a cinema would help to regenerate the Church Road bit of Crystal Palace, so I wish the campaign well.
  8. haushoch

    haushoch Well-Known Member

    Don't know, maybe it was closed bid? Or maybe they didn't have more to spend? There seems to be quite a bit of money behind the church. Hadn't thought of what you pointed out, yeah, could well be that they didn't want to spend more...hm. I guess as a commercial organisation the figures need to add up for them, maybe they didn't at a higher purchase price? I wonder how much the site sold for. Anyone know?
  9. haushoch

    haushoch Well-Known Member

  10. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

  11. IMR

    IMR well-meaning tosser

  12. twistedAM

    twistedAM Left Of The Dial

    Were they the ones that tried to buy Brixton Academy a few years back?
  13. RaverDrew

    RaverDrew self-banned for a bit R.I.P.

    I think the cinema is a bad idea atm but maybe suitable in the future.

    I don't think Crystal Palace could cope with the added traffic and the transport links aren't upto scratch yet.

    Seems to me that the main people being vocal about wanting the cinema are folk that have moved to the area on the cheap and now want to make the place trendy to boost the value of their property. [​IMG]
  14. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    I don't get this. :confused:

    The transport links are brilliant! There are buses from all over the place, and the cinema site is seconds away from Crystal Palace Parade. There are also trains to lots of places from Crystal Palace, and a mini cab office opposite the bus station. The only thing changing is that there will, eventually be a link to the "Underground" network, but that's not going to make any difference to who attends the cinema, surely?

    Where do you get the notion that the people running the campaign are trying to "make the place trendy to boost the value of their property"? That's certainly not why I am involved. I would love a cinema which I can get to easily by bus and which is near pubs and restaurants. It won't make any difference to my house price, and I certainly didn't move to the "area on the cheap". None of the people I know who were at the meeting are in that category, in fact.

    Were you at the public meeting?

    At what stage will CP be ready for a cinema, do you think? What needs to change?

    Besides, there are not too many buildings or sites which are suitable. Once this one is lost, it's lost, and I can't see it ever happening.

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    The fact that there is not a cinema anywhere near crystal place would suggest most of the punters would be local surely. I can't imagine people traveling from more than a short bus journey away (plus I thought CP was pretty good for transport links).
  16. oryx

    oryx Sitting on the bock of the day

    I think there would be a fair number from Lewisham, which doesn't have a cinema throughout the whole borough apart from a few cinema nights run locally (e.g. in the Brockley Jack arts theatre).

    I signed the petition ages ago, mind, as I think a cinema would really benefit the Palace and would be popular.
  17. RaverDrew

    RaverDrew self-banned for a bit R.I.P.

    I've spent most of my life living in Crystal Palace, It's a funny old place that often seems to be "on the up" at times, only to become quite run-down within a year or so. I've lost count of the number of business's both large and small that I've seen try to establish themselves, yet ultimately fail.

    There are cinema's already in Streatham, Beckenham and Croydon. Infact there used to be more cinema's locally but they shut down, why do you think that is ?

    Transport is far from good, yes there are plenty of bus routes, but the traffic around the triangle at peak hours is horrendous. This in turn often leads to the buses running at shambolic frequencies. I've lost count over the years of the 40mins+ waits I've had for buses that supposedly run every 5-12mins.

    I think it's naive to expect the majority of cinema goers to arrive by public transport, many will want to come by car and where do you think all these people will park ? If they have nowhere to park they'll take the short trip to a cinema where they can park. I really doubt there will enough local custom make the cinema viable.
  18. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    You seem to be contradicting yourself. You point out that there are cinemas in Streatham, Beckenham and Croydon, and that other local ones closed down, suggesting there is not much demand, but then you go on to suggest that all the cinema goers will logjam the roads?

    Okay, so you are local and don't want a cinema there. That's fine, but I find it bizarre that you can't see how a small cinema on that site could be good, and bizarre that you have decided for some unknown reason, that the people wanting this cinema are doing so to boost their house values.
  19. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    There are two cinemas in Croydon, but it is easier for me to get to Crystal Palace, and the one near Ikea is soulless and not near any restaurants and bars. If I am going out for an evening, I tend to go to Crystal Palace, because it is easier and nicer than Central Croydon!

    My daughter and her boyfriend, who live closer to Crystal Palace than I do, tend to go to the Ritzy if they want to go out and see a film, partly because it is not one of the huge cinema chains. If there was a cinema in Crystal Palace, they would walk to it.
  20. RaverDrew

    RaverDrew self-banned for a bit R.I.P.

    I'm not completely opposed to the idea in principle, in fact in some ways I would quite enjoy having a cinema on my doorstep.

    I just don't have the rose-tinted vision of it that others do.

    Face it, more people are getting big-screen TV's and downloading films from the internet. The cinema is a pretty pricey trip out for a lot of folks, and people have less disposable income atm.

    I don't see how it would survive that long tbh. Feel free to bump this thread again in 5-10 years to prove me wrong :D
  21. RaverDrew

    RaverDrew self-banned for a bit R.I.P.

    No contradiction there, the traffic situation up Palace is already appalling. ANY extra cars on the road along with poorly parked cars etc will obviously exacerbate these problems. That's not to say there will be enough out-of-towner's to support a cinema long-term.

    If anything these potential added traffic problems could put people off from coming to Palace at all, which means other business's would lose out.

    Anyway, that's enough doom-mongering from me for now. ;)

    ATOMIC SUPLEX Member Since: 1985 Post Count: 3

    I have only been to the one in town on a Sunday morning so I don't know how bad it is to go to on a weekday night (I bet its a bit shit on a friday or saturday though). I don't think I would ever fancy going to the one around ikea. Trouble is that they are both big chain cinemas and don't play much beyond blockbusters. It would be nice to have a more independent cinema closet than Brixton.

    Oh hang on, I have just remembered the clock tower. I have never seen anything there. What's the screen like?
  23. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    Oh yeah - I forgot about the David Lean cinema, as well, which is the one in the Clock Tower in central Croydon. http://www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/arts/clocktower/

    I rarely go there. I like the venue, and it is only a bus ride away for me, but I avoid going out in central Croydon, so I really had forgotten about it! Oops.
  24. twistedAM

    twistedAM Left Of The Dial

    Since they ballsed-up the Triangle a few years ago, traffic and parking is a huge problem, but the church would if anything be worse - those kind of commercial churches tend to have 4 or more services, and it would just be gridlock from morning onwards.
  25. IMR

    IMR well-meaning tosser

    I don't remember, pretty sure that wasn't the KICC. UCKG are a bigger outfit, so might have been them. UCKG seem more similar to US-style evangelism and also are more opportunistic - recently saw them targetting an NHS walk-in health clinic, dishing out leaflets and trying to talk to people going in and out.
  26. JFirewall

    JFirewall New Member

    I would be in favour, as it would provide a closer alternative to Bromley, Beckenham or Greenwich. But where would I park?
  27. twistedAM

    twistedAM Left Of The Dial

    I live about 200 metres from there and if I didn't have off-road parking I'd usually have to park a long way away from my flat.
    It is a problem but as I said above, the proposed church would grind the old triangle to a halt.
  28. Guineveretoo

    Guineveretoo Mostly bewildered

    You could get a bus. :)
  29. JFirewall

    JFirewall New Member

    If I was guaranteed to wait no longer than the 12 minutes stated on the timetable, I would be happy to do so.
  30. London_Calling

    London_Calling Pleasant and unpatronising

    I don't really understand this tbh. Counting Brixton, Beckenham, Croydon and Streatham, you've got over 20 screens within about a 3-mile radius. The market won't bear anymore and I don't think London rents will support an independant initiative either.

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