About the Picture Palace Campaign

Gala have sold the bingo hall at 25 Church Road, SE19 to a large evangelical church despite an independent cinema operator also putting in an offer.

This art deco building is key to the regeneration of the Crystal Palace triangle. It was originally built in 1928 as a cinema and the beautiful interior was designed by the renowned cinema architect George Coles. The building is one of the most significant venues in the town centre and as a commercially viable cinema it would bring many benefits to the area and to all members of the existing community.

English Heritage has identified the triangle as an ‘at risk’ conservation area,  as such, the sympathetic restoration of this building to its original community use would act as a catalyst for the rest of area, especially Church Road.

The building has a designated D2 planning use (cinema/bingo) and  we are campaigning to retain that planning use for the benefit of the local community and to support the regeneration and economic growth of our much loved town and its local traders.  We do not believe that the local population has any planning need for an eighth church to serve the triangle. The church is relocating its substantial congregation from Wimbledon and are currently preparing a planning application to change the use of 25 Church Road from community use to a place of worship for their followers.  When the application has been submitted, Bromley council will be consulting the local community.  It is imperative that we act at this time as a community so that our voices are heard.

The new church will not only strip us of a vital community building but it will also considerably increase traffic congestion and parking issues in the area several times a week by people with no other interest in the town centre. If you  agree with us and want a cinema in Crystal Palace rather than another church then please sign the petition in local shops, spread the word amongst your friends and neighbours and contact your local councillors, MPs, GLA members and Bromley’s planning department.

Contact details for your representatives can be found in the How you can help section of the website.  Picture-Palace.org will be regularly updated with news and information relevant to the campaign – please register so that we can send you updates of any significant developments.

 

113 Responses to About the Picture Palace Campaign

  1. Molly July 1, 2009 at 2:55 pm #

    YES! CP really needs a cinema and this is such a better place to put it compared to near the tower where there was meant to be one built!

    • hellnick July 1, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

      Thank you for commenting. It would be nice if the old cinema was restored back to its original function.

      Don’t forget that you can register for updates to the site and for news of any developments in the campaign. The link to register is at the bottom of each page.

  2. Will Cummock July 1, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    The council has an opportunity here to help restore part of the cultural heritage of the Crystal Palace area.
    As an educated local professional I know I speak for the vast majority of my demographic when say a cinema would have a positive social impact on Crystal Palace.
    There is no need for another church in the area, especially not a fringe evangelical organization previously found guilty of “serious misconduct and mismanagement” in its administration.

  3. brinda July 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    this site should be used for a cinema and not a church as it will service the WHOLE community, generate jobs, generate customers for existing businesses all week long and enrich the lives of the WHOLE community and not just a niche few. There are enough churches, eg All Saints for one in the nearby vicinity.

  4. Doug Barned July 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    I fully agree that the building should be restored to it’s original function. Not having a cinema in the area diverts people and business to Beckenham, Croydon, or into town.

    Not only do we already have a wealth of churches in the area (including one just across the road), we lack a cinema – makes perfect sense to me which application should should have been accepted.

  5. rachel keates July 1, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    Agree wholeheartedly that Crystal Palace is crying out for a cinema and that it would enrich the area far more than another church. It would be a much needed boost for the triangle and a definite money spinner.

  6. Karen Smith July 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    They need ‘change of use’ from the local council to turn a cinema into a church – which is tough to get. The Council can be petitioned to maintain its use status – possibly using the District Plan and/or other Council commitment to arts/leisure/community facilities.
    Also if the building has any architectural interest English Heritage could be brought and/or the Cinema Theatre Association.
    This may be also London-wide issue in terms of accessible facilities and local resources.

  7. Enrico Tessarin July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm #

    As a film-maker having a film in Crystal palace would be a dream. It would also be an immense opportunity for the many film-makers and film companies in the area (including my company, of course) to have screenings of our own productions and, if possible, even a Crystal Palace Film festival – perhaps running along the revived Croydon Film festival.
    I am a Churchgoer (of some kind) but there are already 3 churches on the triangle. Do we really need another one????

  8. Anon July 2, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    The agenda of this website seems to be more against christianity than KICC in particular. This building was offered to the highest bidder, and KICC just happened to be one. Grow up and get over it. where were these cinema goers when this place while this place was a bingo hall.

    • hellnick July 2, 2009 at 7:37 am #

      How do you work out that this site is against Christianity? The site is to support a cinema for Crystal Palace – “these cinema goers” were actively working with independent cinema groups to bring cinema to the area for some time before KICC came along and went against the wishes of the community.

  9. David Walker July 2, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    61% of Crystal Palace residents ticked the “Christian” box for the (voluntary) religion question in the 2001 Census. The others either refused to answer the question or ticked no religion or some other religion. The majority of us therefore are prepared to call ourselves Christians. Opposition to loss of the cinema building is based on strong planning grounds, not anti-religious feeling. The building could be used as a cinema without material change of use from bingo hall but the church put in a higher bid, speculating on getting planning permission for their change of use.

  10. Phil July 2, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    We don’t need a church thanks very much; we do need cultural and social activities to help develop the community and assist local businesses.

  11. Phil July 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Just checked out the KICC website. “Taking Territories” indeed?

    Is a church opening or is Palace the subject of a military campaign?

    There is no demand for this from local residents and in fact the vast majority of chuech-goers are likely to be from outside the area… just parking their cars in Palace!

  12. charlie July 2, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    The agenda of this site is to campaign for a cinema on the site of what was the Gala bingo hall which was originally built as a cinema and which has D2 planning use. It is a key building for the regeneration of the Crystal Palace and its planning use is important to the local community. It is one of the largest community venues in our town centre (of which there are few) and we will fight to retain that planning use for the benefit of the local community and to support the economic viability of our much loved town and its local traders.

  13. Dee July 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Another Church is exactly what is NOT need in The Palace. I used to live down by the Queens hotel and the succession of meetings/marriages there attended by those relegious groups made our lives miserable. They parked outside our houses without any care of blocking people in and the road was strewn with rubbish after. Totally inconsiderate to the neighbours and local residents. So happy I don’t live there anymore (but still in CP btw) cos that was a real nightmare. A cinema is exactly what’s needed.

  14. Emma Quirk July 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    We recently moved to CP and were hoping that the area was an up and coming spot. It is halfway there, with a little TLC and right choices. The cinema is a wonderful old building and with the right restoration as a cinema this is something everyone in the area can enjoy and not just church goers! I feel upset that again it all comes down to money and not the best interest of the building and the local people.
    I dont think any one local person would want this to be a ‘Christian’ church, as if there are not enough in the area. In fact I think there is one very close on the other side of the road and The Queens hotel is always in use for weekly meets. Do we really need more??
    Lets stop this and hope Bromley Planning realise that its about a local community coming together. A cinema is a great way of doing that. Any religion can enjoy the movies together.

  15. Sarah D July 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    I also fully support the use of the bingo hall as a cinema. LIke most people on this site I feel it would be better used as a building that will serve the community as a whole and add to the development of CP. I unfortunately never had the chance to go the previous cinema as I didn’t live here at the time. An independent cinema would work very well in CP – just look at the number of independently owned restaurants which thrive on the triangle.

  16. Jane July 3, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    I am just about old enough to remember going to the cinema on Church Rd and it was great. It would be a fantastic Phoenix moment to see the resurrection of a cinema in the Palace .It would also be a great addition to a very dilapidated part of the area, bringing people and business to the community.
    I have no objection to a church, but just not on this particular site. There have been several religious events at Crystal Palace Sports Centre which currently seems to be underused and has loads of parking. Why not use that instead.

  17. phil July 3, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    bromley council have not yet had a formal planning apllication from KICC, and are inviting people from outside the borough boundary ie most of crystal palace residents to submit their address in order to receive a formal letter re the application in order to respond; please go to [email protected] and make your voices heard!
    i’m not opposed to any religious organisation but planning laws are planning laws and the KICC has huge wealth available to try and change them. the building is D2 use ie cinema/leisure, churches are D1, with no change permissable.
    the area does more than enough already supporting atleast 7 different faiths. no other proposals would even be considered with the knowledege that KICC is expecting 8000 people- check its own website-to attend sermons over one day. havering council denied it planning for very good reason and so should bromley. in my opinion it needs a site away from any small town centre.

  18. karine July 3, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    We love going to the BFI, Ritzy and all… but how great it would to just walk home after seeing a film…Recently we passed on Church Road and it crossed our mind that the then Bingo would be the perfect location for a cinema (we were not aware it actually used to be one), then we found out about this campaign etc and how so many people share our wish. As a community, we have our say, if we want to be heard, we can be heard, united we stand! When shall we all demonstrate?

  19. Jeremy July 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    I’ve visited the website of the Walthamstow campaign and noticed, amongst many other things, the fact that they’ve recently had a children’s campaign.

    Whilst this may seem a little manipulative, I’m fairly sure most children in Crystal Palace would be very happy to write letters, protest etc. if they felt their actions might result in their having access to a cinelma locally.

    Are those that run this website in touch with the Walthanmstow one? It would seem theyt have learnt alot, we could benefit from their experience and there would be some strength in a dual campaign…

  20. Emma July 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    I used to run Film on Thursday in West Norwood, which was a popular film society showing a range of genres and hosting various events, speakers and local filmmakers. I did this as I would love to have a cinema in the local area (I too love the Ritzy and BFI but there’s no substitute for having something on your doorstep). I didn’t have the finance or time to open up a full-time cinema, but would absolutely love it if this came to Crystal Palace. The popularity of FoT with residents of SE19 as well as SE27 and SE21 etc shows that it would be a great addition to the area, far more than yet another faith-based centre. I have absolutely nothing against those who want to practice their faith and think everyone should be allowed to believe in whichever god, deity, spirit they want to. However, there is plenty of provision for these people’s needs; give something to those who want to worship at the feet of cinema!

  21. Anon July 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Cinemas have largely been responsible for crimes and society we have today. Isn’t it time you gave church a chance to mop up all that rubbish. Another thing, when has 100 people become a majority. There is no widepsread support for your campaign, you are just a few people signing up with different names to make your campaign seem well subscribed.

    • Admin July 6, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

      To “anon” – I’ve approved your comment about cinemas being largely responsible for society’s ills as it is just charming. Religion has been around since man first looked at the sun in wonder; cinemas have been round for just over 100 years.

      Your second comment has not approved as you did not credit the original source of the article. If you want to submit the comment again with the appropriate credit I will be happy to approve that to appear on the website – even though you have used a fake email address.

      As for lack of support, you clearly do not know the area that your church is trying to move to. There is very strong support from the Crystal Palace community for a cinema and a great deal of resistance to yet another church setting up in the area.

    • lisab July 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

      Your comments are not particularly christian, I do not believe you give one hoot about the local community.

    • lisab August 6, 2009 at 10:09 am #

      To Anon

      Religious beliefs have largely been responsible for WAR’S….World Wide.

  22. Tony July 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    This seems so obvious. We don’t have a cinema. We have 7 churches within half a mile of this site. Do NOT give planning permission for change of use. Let’s have a common sense decision and an independent cinema for the community.

  23. Alison July 6, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    We’re all individuals, and there are more than 100 of us – well on the way to 1,000 members on the Facebook group.

    I find I go to the cinema less and less in the centre of town – too expensive, too tired on weeknights (6pm showings are too early for me to get away from work, 9pm showings too late) so I’d love to have a local cinema in my area to visit at weekends instead.

    One of the things I love about Crystal Palace is the very active community trying to improve and conserve the area, from the park to the traffic congestion to the local shops.

    We all deserve good local facilities on our doorstep, and I feel very fortunate to have nice cafes, comedy clubs, libraries, a garden centre and plenty of open space within easy reach of my home. A cinema really would be the icing on the cake!

  24. David July 7, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    There are many examples of wonderful life-affirming films. The newly-reopened cinema club in the Triangle has just shown one and will show more after the summer. It would be great if by restoring the bingo hall to cinema use we can share this community-building activity with a larger audience.

  25. Anon July 7, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    I am not against people exercising their democratic right to campaign for one thing or another. That is what makes our nation what it is. What I think is not right is attacking an organisation just because they have bought something that someone else wanted. Your articles under “KICC Watch” are a direct attack on KICC as a church and an attempt to label people who go there as somewhat stupid/dump. I am one of those people who attend KICC and it is an insult on my person which I cannot simply ignore. KICC has been looking for a church building for a long time to accomodate an ever increasing number of its congregation, most of whom cannot go to Walthamstow because of distance. It just happened that your much loved cinema was available, an offer made and gladly accepted and I would like to think the previous owners were not coersed into selling that building to KICC. The doors of that building will always be open to Crystal Palace residents who will choose to attend KICC church services. You may actually enjoy the new use of that building, as all of you are invited when it opens. One of the things you have to bear in mind is that KICC is not part of the mainstream churches and therefore does not as many buildings as they have. But it still needs places to worship for its members just like other religious groups that are getting places left right and centre in the spirit of accomodation. There are many property developers who are buying up churches and converting them to flats etc, do Christians complain? No. Admin please note my email address.

    • Admin July 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

      There are no attacks on the KICC in this site, only observations that the church is very wealthy and is expanding rapidly. The primary reason for this campaign is against the loss of a community building that should be open to people of all faiths or no faith at all. A cinema provides employment opportunities and entertainment for a community that a church cannot. As a representative of the church you have made it clear that access to the building will only be possible for those who attend the church services.

      The KICC simply used its considerable wealth to outbid an independent cinema group that the local community had been in discussions with for some time. Local people are dismayed by this attitude and many believe that it is likely that the church will continue to disregard local needs.

      Churches being converted into flats is really nothing to do with the matter of the KICC changing the use of a local community centred building, but I am fairly sure that no building conversion ever goes unprotested.

      The comment you posted highlighting the KICC’s press statement to the Streatham Guardian will be posted in the “In the news” section of the site.

  26. Jeremy July 7, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    I fully agree with the poster who says we already have several churches in the area.

    I also think that Crystal Palace has a fantastic heritage. Re-opening this building for the purpose it was designed for would be a tribute to the wonderful history Crystal Palace has.

    There are no historic buildings left in Crystal Palace that serve the purpose for which they were designed. This may be an opportunity to redress that inbalance.

    Whilst the arguments continue over what to do with the former Palace site, wouldn’t it be wonderful to not only revive part of Crystal Palace’s history and at the same time provide a service to the community which at present does not exist?

  27. Mandy July 8, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    I am all for the Gala Bingo building to be converted back into a cinema.

    It would be fantastic for Church Road, which has long been the poor Man of the Triangle. A cinema would really help its regeneration, bring jobs to the area, the local bars & restaurants would profit, and it would provide a very welcome service to the entire community.

    Also it would be so nice to not have to go to Brixton, Streatham, Croydon etc just to go to the cinema. And as one previous poster mentioned, in the West End a 6pm screening is too early to get to after work and a 9pm screening means a late journey back to Crystal Palace.

    The buzz which surrounds the Ritzy in Brixton is great. It would be fantastic to have that vibe in Church Road.

  28. John July 8, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    CP badly needs a cinema to help regenerate the area. So many shops appear to be closing down or boarded up. Having another church will do nothing to help the area.

  29. lee newham July 9, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    Yes, make it a cinema. Please!

    Not only would it serve a greater number of people than a church, it’s something the area is badly lacking and will help local business.

    I’d like somewhere to go locally. I would definitely use it, especially if it were properly restored. I used the Picturehouse in Greenwich, it was great, especially the special events,

    It would be great of the church to recognize the will of the people for the greater good and withdraw from this application.

  30. acfcp July 10, 2009 at 12:38 am #

    If you support this campaign please sign the on-line petition:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/acfcp/petition.html
    and join the facebook group:
    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=93895723250
    Many thanks.

    • hellnick July 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm #

      Dont forget the links under Resources for campaigners on the left-hand side of the site, where you’ll be able to find your councillors’ details so that you can send them a letter or an email. MPs too.

      You can also try the link to the “Write to them” website – this lets you put in your post code and provides a form so that you can send a quick message to all your representaives (councillors, MPs, MEPs and the London Assembly).

  31. Ian Hill July 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Sounds like a great project – I’ve just been working on turning a church into a cinema/community centre in Cardiff. Slight problem with Church of Wales, but the project went down very well with Council, Assembly, Planning, CADW,
    lots of arts bodies, and most of the locals. It includes some extras, like video training for young people, a local tv & radio station, tea dances and a cafe.
    If you like I can send you a copy, in case there are ideas you can use.

    Though we have freedom of religion in this country, apparently it is inferior to the Human Rights legislation. So perhaps check that out.

    Good Luck

    Ian

  32. Mark Henderson July 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    As a long term resident of this area I remember this sites use as a cinema and my late mother in law would go there 3 to 4 times a week when it was a Bingo hall.
    I love the Ritzy in Brixton and to have one in Crystal Palace would be a dream.
    The benefit to local business and residence would be massive, it would add a touch of class to the area as the Ritzy in Brixton has done.

    I assume that if it became a church it would claim charity status and not pay any rates to the council and while we all dont like paying rates the council does need the income to support ALL the residence of the borough.

    The loss of rates income is a bit of sore point with me because as one of the few remaining manufacturers in London I pay nearly £19,000 per year in business rates as well as my own home domestic rates. Any loss of income to the borough means that indirectly the borough is going to increase all our rates to get its operational money.

    I hope that any application to change the use of the site is refused by the council and I fully support the Ritzy in bringing a much needed focal point to the Crystal Palace area.
    The local Councils have been messing around ever since I can remember about what to do with the old Crystal Palace site and the area needs some real re-generation, the re-opening of the site as a cinema would be a real step in the right direction. Changing it to a church would not help I regret to say.
    Go on KICC stop being dog in a manger and do something really Christian and re locate to an area that you are welcomed by the local residence and can do some real good.

    • lata McWatt July 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

      Dear Mark

      I agree with you. I would love to have a cinema in Crystal Palace. I like going to Ritzy and Westend but it would be so much better to have cinema at our doorsteps.

      Good Luck

  33. Onyi July 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    anybody or organisation is free to bid for a property and win it. Kicc won the bid. As much as the local community feels it will have more fun with a local cinema, it just so happens that the right bidders were not available to make that dream into reality. Therefore i do not think its fair that KICC is getting bad review for buying the property. (because whether an old cinema or not, it is what it is- a property for sale, what the buyers then choose to do with it is just their business).
    The local shops and businesses will find that demand for their customs and services will rise very high.
    you are not asked any details before entering the KICC property. Therefore ANYBODY be it a KICC member OR NOT is very very welcome to join the services.
    God bless you all. JESUS IS KING!! mwaaah.xxx

    • acfcp July 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

      Dear Onyi,
      Thanks for posting on this forum, it’s really good that you have taken the time to debate this issue from the point of view of the KICC.
      What you state is true, buildings are bought and sold to the highest bidder all the time, however, certain buildings are important to the community and society reflects this through planning laws. The KICC have purchased a building with the incorrect existing planning permission for use as a church. If the KICC were not aware of this prior to the purchase then caveat emptor. If the intention was to apply for a change of use then the KICC are attempting to remove a vital community building, how would you react if this was happening in your neighbourhood?
      I am also interested to find out how Crystal Palace was identified as the new home for a Wimbledon church? Surely there would be a more suitable property, with the correct planning usage in place, somewhere in the 8 miles between the two locations. This is surely a problematic move for the existing congregation of the KICC.
      I eagerly await your response.

    • NJH July 19, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

      Actually I don’t want to enter a church – many of us don’t – nothing personal.
      There are plenty in the area and people can frequent those if they want.
      I have an interest in films and have to go to Brixton or Clapham to see them.

      Above all a cinema would greatly help the area’s economy.

      • David July 20, 2009 at 10:41 am #

        There is a demonstrated demand for a cinema in the area, at least one cinema operator with a realistic interest in opening here and this building already has the appropriate planning authorisation for a cinema. There is no reason to allow a change away from this use.

        The only thing preventing a cinema reopening in Crystal Palace appears to be the current ownership of the building.

    • lisab July 28, 2009 at 1:20 am #

      Onyi

      Your comment ‘What buyers then choose to do with it is there business’ could not be further from the truth, especially with the added complication of the Triangle being a conservation area. No offence but I hope your application fails, as your church will not be beneficial to the local residents in any way shape or form. We want entertainment for the community as a whole not another church for one minority group.

      NO to your church………YES to a cinema………..Good luck Crystal Palace.

  34. Lauren Saunders July 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Don’t do it!!!!

  35. David July 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Thanks for your blessing and agape kiss.

    However, it’s simply not true that when a property is for sale, what the buyers then choose to do with it is just their business. The local community, through our planning representatives on the local council, do have a say about changes that may be inappropriate.

    We breathlessly await your planning application.

  36. Pete July 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    we are so on cusp of change up here and it could go either way, and another church in an inappropriate building…(cinema) would only put the already struggling social infrastructure (shops, pubs, restaurants) into further decline… we need good solid business idea’s to bring jobs and people back to the area, this cinema would do this, giving the local and surrounding communities access to culture,art and architecture. Surely this Cinema would help all the other local businesses, this side of the triangle feels very neglected and needs stimulus like a cinema to regenerate it… surely the local council can see this… wake up! your community need you….

  37. Richard July 21, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    Please listen to the people that live in this area. The knock of effect of having an important cultural facility in an area are obvious. It’s impossible not to concur with all the other comments. Not only would a cinema improve the lives of all who live in the vicinity, but the commercial benefits to all surrounding businesses would be immeasurable. Without wishing to be confrontational, what possible benefit can there be in shipping in a congregation that isn’t even based in SE19. None as I see it, only detrement and a lost opportunity.

    • AG1 August 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm #

      How do you know there will be a congregation ‘shipped in’? What evidence do you have for this?

      • lisab August 15, 2009 at 12:06 am #

        AGI

        This is widely reported, therefore common knowledge.

  38. Simon maconochie July 23, 2009 at 9:15 pm #

    If we all stand together then they have no choice but take notice , i for one think we need to preserve and protect our social history or in years to come we will never have been here !!!!!

  39. Julie July 24, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    I’m absolutely horrified to learn that KICC have purchased the Gala property in Crystal Palace when our community could have had exactly what it needed… a Cinema! NOT another Church! A church on this site will be no benefit to people who live in this area! It is a fantastic idea to have a cinema on this site and would give many local people jobs; help improve the area and the sustainability of the local shops, bars & restaurants who i’m sure are all struggling during this difficult economic climate! Church goers are not going to bring anything into this local community, but cinema goers definitely would as usually they like to eat or have a drink before and/or after the movie! We must do everything we can to improve out local area and not allow the Church change of use for this property!!! The local people want a CINEMA!!

  40. Rachel July 24, 2009 at 11:17 am #

    PLESE KEEP IT AS A CINEMA!! We have many churches in the area and dont need another one, we do need a cinema and this will bring new jobs as well as help the comunity, shops and local bars etc……it would be such a shame and a waste if ANOTHER church is placed there!! 🙁 🙁

  41. Assad N July 24, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    Why on God’s Earth do we need another place of worship in CP!???? Haven’t we forgotten that the Lord be with us in our home’s, heart’s and minds…in body, in soul and in Spirit…must we have him take up permanent residence in an old bingo hall in CP…the Lord isn’t much of a gambler…and not sure he can be that effective if he spreads himself too thinly…
    Cinema?? ‘ACE’ idea – it will have a positive impact on this upcoming area (especially if you screen Bruno).
    It’s the youth of today (21-50; not ageist honestly) that will help to further revitalise this beautiful part of SE London, exemplified by some of the shops, bars, and restaurants that have opened, so lets continue to attract them…the more mature citizens are also very welcome to provide their wisdom, but you have benefited from CP of past, as profiled in this month’s Transmitter, isn’t it time we got a crack? You will see God soon enough so no need to jump the gun – busy chap he/she? is…so lets enjoy this area…and re-instate the cinema!!

  42. Ian July 24, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    Church or cinema? Cinema please. It’s pretty obvious it would benifit the area more than another church.

  43. Chris Anderson July 24, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    I live on church road, my kitchen window overlooks the building in question. From my living room window I can see two of the churches already in the area.

    I for one would love to see a cinema in this building. A business that will benefit the community both in terms or economics and recreation.

    A business like that would bring in people from surrounding areas, increasing trade in local restaurants and bars and benefitting the community as a whole.

    Every Sunday I see how busy St Aubyns road gets with local resisdents struggling to find parking near their own homes. Very few of the people coming to the churches in the area do any more than drive in, go to church and leave again. The strain on the community is clearly visible and I can’t beign to imagine how it will cope with a church of this magnitude as well.

    Why does a church need a high street property?

    And finally a big thank you to the people who created this site and got this campaign moving. Keep it up your doing a great job.

  44. Lizzie July 24, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Have we all lost our sense of heritage and culture in Britain ….
    In Europe for example, Money is so often gladly invested in both these areas , as they are seen as part of the community as a whole – not elitist or avant garde but an intigral part of the past and present of those communities values. .
    This site has beauty, history and could again provide social and cultural interaction for the local community .
    Is this not what the lottery was set up for – councils were there to protect or do we yet again sell our souls to the mighty $$$£££.He who pays the piper calls the tune ?

  45. Julia July 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    What on earth do we need another church for when actual churches are closing or being converted. I remember when this building was actually a cinema when I was very young and I’ve yearned for years for it to be a cinema again. Crystal Palace is crying out for a cinema or theatre similar to Fairfield Halls or Bromley Theatre.

    How much do I need to beg for it to be a cinema, cinema, cinema!!! I believe the whole community would welcome it with welcome arms.

  46. Will July 26, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    I would dearly love this wonderful of building to be returned to a cinema. It happened in Stepney some years back at the Genesis theatre – I don’t know if it’s true but the story there were that the owners who renovated it actually met there as youngsters many years ago. The nice thing about Genesis is that it has some arty films like the Ritzy etc , but also plenty of films that local families want to see at really reasonable prices, and also show relevant local films e.g. Bengali films etc. This makes it a really accessible venue for everyone – I really don’t know how families on average to low incomes can afford to go to multiplexes with their high prices, travel and refreshments, and it would be brilliant to have a local facility like this. I personally like arthouse films and am an NFT regular, but equally this should be a facility that will appeal to everyone and looking at other models like Genesis, it really could.

    I agree with other posters – isn’t this what Lottery and regeneration funds are for? Maybe we should have nominated the building on that Griff Rhys Jones programme a while back! This building could be a real community anchor and a real catalyst for the regeneration of the rest of the Church Road – of course which is surely needed. I suppose one of the problems is that CP is on the corner of 5 boroughs and thus is not really a priority for any borough.

    This isn’t an anti-Christian or an anti-religion movement. It’s about the loss of a great chance to kick start regeneration of a town centre area. There are lots of less town-centre areas or areas with better train links that specific community groups can use.

    Sign up everyone, lets make ourselves heard. And I’m going to keep playing the lottery, and if I win big I’ll definitely buy it up!!

  47. lisab July 28, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    I have just watched the video documentry ‘So you shall reep’……………

    UNBELIEVABLE.

    I urge everyone to watch it (go to video doc under KICC watch on left of screen). Get as many of your family and friends as you can to watch it and then sign the petition, I think you’ll all want to. We really don’t want or need this kind of activity in our community.

    Please support the Palace Cinema Campaign and sign the petition NOW.

    Thanks

  48. srga July 29, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    I’ve lived in Crystal Palace for 7 months, and agree with the many quotes that this lovely place is in need of an injection of culture.

    I live slap bang in the middle of the proposed cinema site and a church that is in use on Saturday mornings. I can’t think of anything worse than having a nightmare trying to park on Sundays ASWELL. Its unsafe and could be a major issue with fire regulations.

  49. Soutpiel July 29, 2009 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m surprised how few people have mentioned this on Twitter. If you’re a Twitterer, how about passing it on? Something like this:

    http://twitter.com/soutpiel/statuses/2908247950

  50. Dan July 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    Don’t let the same thing happen that happened on Essex Road in N1 – Mecca (how ironic) sold the beautiful art deco cinema ( http://icanhaz.com/essexrd1 ) to a church group ( http://icanhaz.com/essexrd2 ), and it’s been lying empty for over 2 years, nothing having been done. It’s just falling to bits. Good luck with your campaign!

    • ROSINSKI July 30, 2009 at 11:11 am #

      I walk past the Capitol in Forest Hill every day, lovely art-deco design, unmistakeably a cinema once upon a time – now a Wetherspoons.
      In matters like this a restoration is something to fight for, it could become a local treasure for Crystal Palace.
      I have applied to Bromley for that planning application letter, they did ask for a reference, but they also said they’d post something out, we’ll see. I’ve written to all those MPs and councils.

  51. Stephen Parkes July 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Yes. Palace needs a picture house.

  52. Elsa July 29, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    I wholeheartedly support the campaign to turn the old bingo hall into a cinema.

    I was born and brought-up in the area and feel there is a real opportunity for improving a really neglected part of Crystal Palace. Having lived in Brixton which has the wonderful Ritzy and Mile End which has the Genesis, I’ve seen the positive impact such a development can make to a community. Such a venue would bring in custom for local restaurants and shops and be a real social hub for residents. And the restoration of such a lovely but dilapidated building to it’s original intentional use is surely the best thing that could happen.

    I can see no logic in having another church in an area that already has more than it’s fair share of churches especially when local views are so opposed. Why would we want to encourage more traffic onto an already overloaded road and how would this benefit the actual locals? It makes me very angry that the council seems to have such little regard for it’s residents opinions and do not have the foresight to see the advantages that a cinema could provide to the whole borough.

    If there is anything more I can do to support this campaign I would be happy to do so.

  53. NJH July 29, 2009 at 6:41 pm #

    I contacted [email protected] to request a “consultation letter” – they sent back an email saying that I needed to have the the application reference number.

    Anyone have this?

    • lisab July 30, 2009 at 10:23 am #

      Hi NJH
      I also contacted [email protected] quoting ‘KICC Planning application re old Gala Bingo in Church Road SE19 – D2 to D1’ and I recieved a mail back saying I had been added to the consultation list. I am not sure if the application has been submitted yet, if it hasn’t then I guess it would not have been allocated a number. I hope this is of some help.

      If and when anyone is aware of application number could they please post it on this message board.

      Many thanks

  54. ecstaticgaucho July 29, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

    South East London seems to be one of the worst served areas of London for cinemas. This is an excellent opportunity to bring the magic of the movies to an area that is crying out for it. It is also much easier to find a building to house a church, than a cinema.There are churches built in shop fronts, old factories and numerous other buildings (and of course you don’t need a church to pray). Finally, let’s not forget the words of the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, “cinema gives you the possibility of achieving spiritual essence.”

  55. SalinCP July 30, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    Went to the meeting at the Grape and Grain yesterday and found it very interesting and informative.

    Probably the Campaign’s biggest selling point is the regeneration of the area and the knock-on economic benefits. To this end we must garner support not only from local businesses eg restaurants, pubs etc but look to receive letters of intent from prospective companies stating that they would set up their business if the cinema was likely to be built.

    Aside from the historical and romantic notions of having a cinema, I believe that a presentation of hard economic facts backed by figures of potential revenue would be hard to ignore.

  56. Gavin Skelhorn July 30, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    I’ve been in touch now with a couple of the councilors about this.

    A point that I have noticed is that the Church have not submitted their planning application yet and they could very likely just ‘sit’ on the building for up to five years without actually doing anything.

    If they were looking to move in sooner rather than later you would have thought the application would have been in by now wouldn’t you?

    This was Shelley Lachbury’s response

    I’d need to check but my first thought would be that if you purchase a building its yours and you don’t need to do anything about it unless it becomes a health/environmental hazard when authorties can insist that works are done or step in and get works done, I don’t think there are any time limits on applying for Planning/Change of use permissions, there are time limits once you have that pemission in that you have to start doing the works I think within 5 years or a time specified within the permission granted.

    Could be a problem

  57. Lee July 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    A cinema is just what we need. It will benefit everyone in the community incuding local businesses such as restaurants and bars. We don’t need a church which will mainly support people from outside the area and will cause more traffic hassle than we have already. Let’s hope the council see sense…it could be a big step in the right direction for this fantastic area.

    • JackieD July 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

      By their very nature, churches are exclusive: they are for a specific group of people bound together by one thing, and that one thing is different from church to church depending on the nature of the religion. A cinema, on the other hand, is inclusive – as long as you are old enough for the film and you want to see it, you can. I agree with all the points about jobs and revenue: people coming to the cinema here (as opposed to the trek to Brixton, or the Peckham multiplex, or the tiny cinema in Croydon) will bring money into the area – they will use the facilities inside as well as outside of the cinema site. The cinema will need to recruit people to work in it. Plus the community benefits are enormous: you only have to go to any of the independent cinemas across London to see people there using the bar/cafe etc, hanging out, spending money. Crystal Palace is a lovely area and a cinema would be nothing but beneficial.

      • AG1 August 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

        I think you’ll find that cinema’s, like bingo halls are exclusive. In the case of the cinema, the exclusion is one of age (rating) or taste (in terms of film content) or language (in terms of art house/foreign films).

        The major ‘fallacy’ seems to be that people will walk to the cinema. What statistics prove this to be the case? The area in the triangle has little on street parking and no car park other than Sainsbury. It is not true that masses of cinema-goers (as is suggested) will decide to walk to the cinema, they will do exactly as they do to shop for groceries, or go to buy chips or go to the pub; they will take the car.

        Until the planners, or the triangle business owners, or those in favour of not touching any part of the top level of the park realise that people will only turn out if they can drive and park then the triangle is destined to remain as it is. The former car sales showroom, the former car preparation building, many of the other empty shops and indeed the oldest building in the area (next to the Greek Orthodox Church) will stay empty and in some cases might decay away.

        The wish for a cinema in the triangle is great, but, on its own that won’t generate sufficient interest to regenerate the area – that will take some concerted thinking from planners and councils.

        And why did Gala sell the hall? presumably because not enough people used it and it became ‘redundant’ for their needs. I fear the same for any cinema, it might however stand more chance if there was good parking.

        I am a non car owner, who relies on public transport or walking to get anywhere

  58. sylvie July 31, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    Too right we need a cinema, where is the nearest?
    Over the years they have dissappeared from Forest Hill, Sydenham, Catford , Lewisham.
    Why not try an open air or drive in, in the Park. if its revenue your after this would make sense, but this isn’t about making sense is it!!!!!

  59. Jeremy July 31, 2009 at 6:42 pm #

    I’d like to comment in support of the efforts made to encourage the development of a cinema in Crystal Palace as this would be of benefit to the larger community.
    I wonder if someone could clarify the situation with regard to places of worship being exempt from the payment of business rates? If they are exempt from these charges (which council tax payers and business rate payers struggle to afford) then it seems to me that the existing seven churches in the area are already claiming an indulgence at the expense of other tax-payers and that local people are already more than generous – considering that not all of us have any religious inclinations whatsoever.
    With the ‘high street’ retail sector already under such financial threat, I wonder also the extent to which the existing shop premises on Church Street that appear to have been transformed into places of worship are contributing of competing unfairly – I notice that they seem to do a brisk business in health food products alongside ‘serving’ their congregations.
    Finally, should I chose to attend cinema then I am opting to pay towards their business costs – including their business rates…..it seems unfair that since I am never going to make any use whatsoever of the religious facilities – that I should be expected to provide tax relief for those who do. At risk of sounding churlish, I also notice that a salary in excess of one hundred thousand pounds is paid to the leader of ths KICC – whilst his heavenly reward is his own business, I do resent contributing via lost tax revenue to his rewards here on earth……!

  60. Nicola August 1, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    It would be a fantastic opportunity for Crystal Palace to host a cinema, it would bring so much to the area. There are so many vibrant restaurants in the area that a cinema would really help the local community.

  61. Andy Banks August 3, 2009 at 9:46 am #

    I’d support a new cinema at Crystal Palace rather than another church, just as I visit the Ritzy, the Picture House and sometimes the Streatham Odeon now. But as ever parking is the key issue at the Palace. You say that setting up a new church would create”traffic congestion and parking issues in the area several times a week by people with no other interest in the town centre”. People visiting the cinema might well want to go out for a drink or a meal locally afterwards, but won’t the traffic problems be the same?

  62. Clare Stevens August 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm #

    Ideally because of where I live I’d like the cinema in Forest Hill to be restored, but failing that Crystal Palace woul be great. Good luck to the campaign – and sorry this is a rather superficial comment as I haven’t time right now to consider the issues thoroughly

  63. flat1 August 4, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    I agree with all the comments in favour of restoring the building as a cinema. Therefore i hope I am here saying something extra.

    Re: use of the building in the past:-
    Why did it need continual reinventionas a cinema and why did a bing hall rplace it and why did that close?

  64. flat1 August 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm #

    I agree with all the comments in favour of restoring the building as a cinema. Therefore I hope I am here saying something extra.

    Re: use of the building in the past:-
    Why did it need continual reinventionas a cinema and why did a bingo hall replace it and why did that recently close?

    future use:- one supposes there woudn’t be such a problem with cars as the local cinema goers would mostly go by foot or public transport, which is good.

    :-the proximity of lots of cafes and pubs, catering hopefully to the cinema closing and opening times, would be be a huge bonus to this particular cinema which doesn’t apply to many others.

    :- lots of people seem to favour the showing of unusual as well as main stream films and this plus things like a cinema club etc would draw a strong, faithful audience core.

    re:- The church.

    The remarks from a church member about the church welcoming local people to its many facilities seem a little disingenuous – would they never ever mention anything Christian to local people using these facilities who were not church members? Would they welcome equally atheists, Hindus, Muslims and even other Christian denominations? In any case, such facilities could be established from the present Community Hall if found to be necessary. And they probably are supplied as required by the several churches already in Upper Norwood for their members.

    And the idea that a body who can purchase something has the out and out right to do what they like with it, despite anyone else, is not perhaps a very public-spirited notion, and we do have laws and bye-laws which try to control use of premises.

    re Bromley council

    use of buiding: how does a council normally decide which businesses to licence? – perhaps the principal is to create as near as possible a MIX of different kinds of business to encourage the development of a well-used and enjoyed centre for ALL LOCAL people with as little disruption as possible.

    • ivancompo August 5, 2009 at 12:16 am #

      Parking? How 20th century is that. We can no longer plan on the basis of car use – people should be encouraged to walk, use buses, catch trains, tubes etc. There is a bus terminus and a train station within half a mile and the tube will be coming in 2010.

  65. Woman in Brockley August 5, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    I spend a lot of time in Sydenham and would have liked a cinema, however, CP is very congested, a cinema would have meant even more congestion. And isnt the building already sold? Hasnt the horse bolted! The sellers had a choice who to sell it to. Perhaps putting the cinema in another less congested part of CP is more appropriate.

    Leave the Evangelicals to save souls.

    • Frank Smith August 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

      Most wars seem to have as their foundation a religious element.So far as I am aware no cinema has ever started a war.
      Cinemas bring people together,and entertain them in the process.
      I say the cinema is right for Crystal Palace as it injects the right atmosphere for local harmony.

  66. Foxhound August 5, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    Dear Woman in Brockley – I think you have completely missed the point – the bingo hall has a designated use as a cinema – most cinema goers would be from the locality and would either walk, cycle or use public tranport just as they do when they have to visit the Ritzy in Brixton or the Odeon in Beckenham where there is no parking. A cinema would not mean even more congestion. Yes, the building has been sold but no the horse hasn’t bolted – it is securely in the stable because to turn this prupose built cinema into a place of worship requires a change of use. Yes, the seller did have a choice who to sell it to – the outrageously highest bid – a lesson for us all -Caveat emptor! And, no putting the cinema in another less congested part of CP is not more appropriate because 25 Church Road was built as a cinema and has a designated planning use as a cinema.

  67. David Walker August 6, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    We are now in the next phase of the cinema campaign. A planning application from KICC for change of use is due imminently. Bromley have agreed to include the four neighbouring boroughs of Lewisham, Lambeth, Southwark and Croydon as consultees to the application. We ask you to write to your ward councillors, the executive member of regeneration and the head of planning for your borough now, urging them to respond to the consultation when it comes in and to take into account your concerns regarding the application when responding.

    The next meeting of the campaign group is Wednesday 12 August 7pm upstairs at the Blacksheep Bar, Westow Hill.

  68. mandy August 6, 2009 at 1:34 pm #

    restore the cinema.. entertainment is another way of uplifting the soul. Crystal Palace could do with a lift. good luck to the churgh goers but there are plenty of other buildings that can be used for worship.

  69. Albert August 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    I keep seeing people wearing the campaign tee shirt, there’s even an article in the Streatham Guardian. Are they going to be sold on the website too?

    • Admin August 6, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

      Glad you asked Albert. We should soon have information on the site about how you can buy the tee-shirts. We’ll also be giving plenty of warning when we’re likely to have a stall outside Sainsbury’s.

      All profits from the sale of the shirts go towards the costs of running the campaign – things like printing leaflets and posters.

  70. Jane August 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm #

    You can buy the T-shirts from Frankie & Lola’s and also The Bookseller Crow both on Westow Street SE19. There’s limited stock in the various sizes/colours.

  71. Seb August 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    f a Large evangelical Church is placed in Church Road it would be detrimental to the whole area.
    – There are no adequate parking facilities for large masses such a big Church would attract on Sundays…
    – A Church wouldn’t bring economical advantage to the area, being of interest only to a minute minority
    of locals who would use the facilities.

    A Cinema, on the other hand, would generate activity within this part of the triangle and be beneficial to the whole of Crystal Palace.
    – A cinema would provide so much entertainment that few locals would fail to visit it.
    – A cinema would entertain all types or people, young and old, literate and illiterate.
    – Locals would be withing walking distance of the Cinema hence parking wouldn’t be such an issue.

  72. Harry August 11, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Traditionally communities were built around the church, around centers of worship. Agriculture and industry helped us make a living, but our church and our community made our lives worth living. These days our churches are small and our businesses are big, we have exchanged community grounds for business interests. Churches for amusement arcades and entertainment venus. What we have failed to realise is that our personal relationships cannot simply be built on business interests and banal amusements, it must go beyond material purposes, or else it has no foundation. When the money dries up, the businesses leave and our sense of community evapourates. This is by no means to say that community and business interests are in any way at odds, it is to say that the good of the community must come first and business interests are never the primary good.

    What has not been considered or discussed, is why the KICC need a new venue? Kingsway had their own land and purpose built church, until the Olympic Commission forced them to sell the land and property to be developed for the Olympics. Kingsway offered to share the building and development cost but they were told that the Government could not undertake and commercial partnership with a church. So in effect the church was evicted in 2006 and has been searching for a new venue ever since. Now the caring and welcoming community of Crystal Palace seems likewise, set against them.

    The economic case for the church is clear, it had the money, obtained by donations from a congregation that is clearly devoted and has a strong community spirit. The church was able to bid higher because its ‘business’ model is more feasible and sustainable. It is likely that members of the congregation may move to Crystal Palace to be closer to their church – an unlikely scenario for any cinema faithful. That would add real value to the community and help it grow. It seems complaints about ‘too many people’ and ‘no place for parking’ are somewhat disingenuous. For the Cinema to work, it would need people to flood to it and they would need places to park. The Cinema, realistically, would have to work hard to meet the diverse and individualist whims of its patrons. It seems unlikely that the pensioners who have lost the facility of the Bingo hall will be enticed to see valueless films like “Saw VI” or “Vicky Christina Barcelona”. When all the fuss dies down and the church (God forbid) has taken is money and its devotees elsewhere, Crystal Palace will be left with another failed Cinema, a derelict building and a dwindling community.

    So what’s wrong with one more church? Perhaps one might be naive enough to think that there are no alterior motives for the “Cinema Campaign” but it seems apparent that those who would see the church off, were not so vigilant or motivated when the Bingo hall was running its business. Perhaps they are responding to their inner prejudice rather than to their community spirit. There was no community spirit driving for a new Cinema until the word ‘Church’ was uttered. This level of support would have guaranteed a Cinema years ago, and it still could in some other building. It will be interesting to see how motivated the ‘Campaigners’ remain should the church be allowed the use of the property it has legally purchased.

    The use of zoning regulation is indeed a cynical and not unexpected tactic. It will be likely supported by the Council under the guise of ‘it is what the people want’. But perhaps they will be wiser. They may ask themselves the question: what is the difference between 500 people watching a flickering screen for 2 hours compared with a congregation standing before a Pastor and praising God? The difference might be found in the congregations’ desire to go out from that building motivated and inspired to reach out and help their community.

    May God bless Crystal Palace and all who there live.

    Harry

    • Admin August 13, 2009 at 3:49 am #

      Thank you for your comment Harry. There are a number of factual errors but I have decided to approve your comment with one small edit to remove a legally questionable statement.

    • Harry August 13, 2009 at 7:14 am #

      Hi Admin,

      For the interests of a full and open dialogue, please detail the ‘factual errors’.
      I admit there may be some, having done my research on the internet, but I would like everyone here to differentiate fact from fiction, so that they all (myself included) make informed decisions.

      • Admin August 13, 2009 at 9:58 am #

        Traditionally communities were built around the church, around centers of worship [Actually, churches are built by communities, not the other way round]. Agriculture and industry helped us make a living, but our church and our community made our lives worth living [Unless your religion was different to everyone else’s, then your life was not worth living]. These days our churches are small and our businesses are big [Crystal Palace has many small businesses], we have exchanged community grounds for business interests. Churches for amusement arcades and entertainment venus. What we have failed to realise is that our personal relationships cannot simply be built on business interests and banal amusements, it must go beyond material purposes, or else it has no foundation [Most people are very aware of this, to suggest otherwise is patronising]. When the money dries up, the businesses leave and our sense of community evapourates. This is by no means to say that community and business interests are in any way at odds, it is to say that the good of the community must come first and business interests are never the primary good.

        What has not been considered or discussed, is why the KICC need a new venue? Kingsway had their own land and purpose built church [No, the site in Hackney was previously warehouses], until the Olympic Commission forced them to sell the land and property to be developed for the Olympics. Kingsway offered to share the building and development cost but they were told that the Government could not undertake and commercial partnership with a church. So in effect the church was evicted [With a payment of £13,500,000 from the LDA] in 2006 and has been searching for a new venue ever since. Now the caring and welcoming community of Crystal Palace seems likewise, set against them. [We are against the change of use of the site; we are not against the church.]

        The economic case for the church is clear, it had the money, obtained by donations from a congregation that is clearly devoted and has a strong community spirit. The church was able to bid higher because its ‘business’ model is more feasible and sustainable [The vast majority of the people who work for the church are volunteers so I suppose that is an effective business model; however Crystal Palace needs a business that actually pays all the people it employs]. It is likely that members of the congregation may move to Crystal Palace to be closer to their church – an unlikely scenario for any cinema faithful [Don’t you look at local amenities before buying a property? It’s not top of the list but many people would consider a local, community centred cinema as a definite plus when looking for a new home]. That would add real value to the community and help it grow. It seems complaints about ‘too many people’ and ‘no place for parking’ are somewhat disingenuous. For the Cinema to work, it would need people to flood to it and they would need places to park [Not everyone drives everywhere they go – most of the area surrounding Crystal Palace is residential and people are more than capable of walking to the cinema or using local buses to get them up the steeper hills]. The Cinema, realistically, would have to work hard to meet the diverse and individualist whims of its patrons. It seems unlikely that the pensioners who have lost the facility of the Bingo hall will be enticed to see valueless films like “Saw VI” or “Vicky Christina Barcelona” [Why not?]. When all the fuss dies down and the church (God
        forbid) has taken is money and its devotees elsewhere, Crystal Palace will be left with another failed Cinema, a derelict building and a dwindling community [You clearly know nothing about Crystal Palace].

        So what’s wrong with one more church? Perhaps one might be naive enough to think that there are no alterior motives for the “Cinema Campaign” but it seems apparent that those who would see the church off, were not so vigilant or motivated when the Bingo hall was running its business [Not sure what you mean there]. Perhaps they are responding to their inner prejudice rather than to their community spirit [What are you suggesting that the thousands of people, of all races and creeds, who have signed the petition against the change of use are prejudiced against? I think an apology for that remark would be appropriate]. There was no community spirit driving for a new Cinema until the word ‘Church’ was uttered [Yes there was]. This level of support would have guaranteed a Cinema years ago, and it still could in some other building. It will be interesting to see how motivated the ‘Campaigners’ remain should the church be allowed the use of the property it has legally purchased.

        The use of zoning regulation is indeed a cynical and not unexpected tactic [It’s called planning law and it is the only way to prevent a change of use]. It will be likely supported by the Council under the guise of ‘it is what the people want’. But perhaps they will be wiser. They may ask themselves the question: what is the difference between 500 people watching a flickering screen for 2 hours compared with a congregation standing before a Pastor and praising God? [No, they will make their decision based on planning law] The difference might be found in the congregations’ desire to go out from that building motivated and inspired to reach out and help their community [Again, I think you owe many of the Crystal Palace community an apology. You seem to think that Christians are the only altruists, perhaps you should examine your own prejudices].

        May God bless Crystal Palace and all who there live.

        [Thanks]

        • David August 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

          Will someone tell me where I can take my freedom pass to see valueless films like “Saw VI” or “Vicky Christina Barcelona”? Otherwise I suppose I’ll have to make do with arthouse and original language films, relays from the National Theatre, or the knitting club.

        • Harry August 13, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

          Ah,

          I thought you said ‘factual errors’ as opposed to ‘a difference of opinion’. I can’t argue against opinion but I would like to clarify what seems like some misrepresentations/misundertsandings about what I wrote.

          I think there is some confusion about the difference between a village/town and a community. A community is more than regional association (town) or an economic association (properly called a ‘business community’). That was my point. The KICC community is eatablishing/building the church – the building itself is not the community.

          The administrator has not considered that “planning law” is as much a tool of social eningeering as criminal law or welfare legislation. Physical health and fitness, for example can be developed or destroyed by regional planning laws that promote/restric the use of outdoor spaces. Planning law, removed the KICC and planning law can prevent its relocation.

          The many charges of abusing the Crystal Palace residents, I greet with just so much hand waving. JP Satre said: “everyone gets the war they deserve”. So Crystal Palace’s response to this issue, will serve them rightly, regardless of what I am accused of saying.

          My misconstrued references to Saw and VC Barcelona were comments specifically on the value of the films to the community. I don’t deny that there are not individual preferences for these films but their actual value to the community as a whole are exactly nil. I’m sure no one would want any resident to emulate the behaviours of a crazed serial killer or adulterous/promiscuous people (and no you would not like you partner cheating on you). Those are not things to expose to vulnerable or impressionable minds (children/adults). Compare this to the motivation from the church.

          As I said, most other ‘errors’ in my first statement can be fairly viewed as differences of opinion. While I live in Crystal Palace, my livelyhood is not at all dependant on its success, so I’ll leave the care of the community in your very capable hands.

          My last contribution: http://www.independentcinemaoffice.org.uk/pdf/atacinemanearyou.pdf

          Regards,
          Harry

          • Admin August 14, 2009 at 8:09 am #

            Your disdain for your neighbours in Crystal Palace is clear, Harry. As are your continued efforts to mislead and to turn this matter into one of prejudice rather than community. That was your last contribution, from that IP address anyway.

    • Kalina Palka August 13, 2009 at 9:31 am #

      I have just read Harry’s long and articulate message.

      A couple of points:

      Traffic/parking: City Screen, who also run cinemas in Clapham, Brixton and elsewhere, say that the huge majority of their audience arrive by public transport/bike and on foot, and it is anticipated that it would be the same in Crystal Palace. I would anticipate that a good proportion of the audience would be local people who will walk there.

      Diversity: City Screen are extremely community-oriented and are driven by the interests of the local community, running screenings, for example, for mother and baby groups, knitting circles (!), films on local history etc etc. They run all sorts of film-oriented activities which constructively occupy young people. I feel very excited at the prospect of the focus for our community which it represents, which in truth, an evangelical church would not.

      Cynicism: we are not cynical or anti-church. Had we known that City Screen had been trying to buy the Bingo Hall for years, we would certainly have mounted a campaign to back them. We have not suddenly been whipped into action by the prospect of preventing another church, but by supporting a community-oriented cinema which promises to bring so much to our area.

      I hope that in the end we can have our cinema and the congregation can find an appropriate home.

      God – however we perceive it – bless us all!

      Kalina

      Cynicism: we are not cynical or anti-church

    • jr August 13, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

      I agree it is good to read another point of view but the comments made about Crystal Palace and its’ community were founded on ignorance. That ignorance then led the writer to infer that those who support a cinema in their community did so due to deep rooted racism. Seems like poor Harry really is in a bit of a muddle and I would like to come forward as a good Samaritan and offer some help:

      Firstly City Screens had been lobbied by number of key locals since 2006 to check out suitability of 25 Church Road to be returned to a cinema. That was 3 years ago and way before the initials KICC came up on our radar. to suggest that the people of Crystal Palace are “responding to their inner prejudice rather than to their community spirit.” because they want a cinema as opposed to a church in their community building is a cheap shot Harry but it just doesn’t hit the spot.
      The comment about the organisation being “evicted” from the Olympic site was again inaccurate and total fiction. For the record there were many other businesses and individuals as well as the KICC who had their buildings or land compulsory purchased. This was not an unkind act by a prejudiced government body and as admin pointed out the sum of nearly £14,000,000 was paid to KICC.
      The existing Crystal Palace communities’ spiritual and Christian needs are well and truly catered for by 7 different denominations that offer a range of services to wider community such as youth groups, toddler groups, tea rooms, coffee mornings, exercise classes, art groups, bible classes, reading groups and much much more…
      We would like a bit of variety on our High Street and we’re not going allow the only D2 building in the vicinity to be changed to suit a large external corporate group religious or otherwise.
      Dare I suggest a large and financially robust religious company such as the KICC look a little closer to the home of their existing community to find suitable premises for their congregation. Premises where they will be welcomed by the community they seek to serve and located so the majority of their congregation can access on foot.
      As regards Harrys’ concerns re traffic impact of a cinema, the cinema screenings are staggered and set over many days unlike church services that are frequented at key times where the volume of traffic bringing a large congregation from Wimbledon and beyond will too heavy for local
      infrastructure to support.
      Finally I would just like to add that this territory is not for taking.

    • lisab August 14, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

      Harry

      Have you watched the video documentary ‘so you shall reap’?

      The KICC are a big business who appear to have a main goal of material gain. You only need note the thousands of pounds donated by parishoners, which is then escorted away by burly minders.

      It is also evident that the extreme level of volume that is demonstrated in the video is certainly not suitable for residential area’s. We already have an evangelical church within the vacinity and I have often thought when passing, that I would be extremely unhappy if I were to live next door, especially as the noise sometimes continues into the early hours.

      It is my belief that the KICC services will include three Sunday services. I live opposite 25 Church Road and I do not want to be subjected to extreme volumes on a regular basis, especially at the weekends. A cinema would not present such a problem.

      Do you not think that after a hard weeks work local residents are entiltled to a degree of peace.

      I am a christian and care very much about my fellow men and it is my hope that if God is going to bless Crystal Palace it will be by giving the traders and residents peace and variety rather than ANOTHER church.

    • lisab September 4, 2009 at 11:35 am #

      Harry

      Your comment –

      ‘it is to say that the good of the community must come first and business interests are never the primary good.’

      My response –

      EXACTLY – You only have to watch the KICC documentary to realise that the KICC are a big business, whats more they are a big business that will be bringing their patrons with them and excluding sections of our local community. We know this because it is now common knowledge that they discriminate against the homosexuals who make up a large part of our community. These discriminations are far from christian.

      We Harry and when I say we I mean the local residents want to continue to live in harmony and this will obviously not be the case should the KICC take up residence in Crystal Palace.

      Our community is of the upmost importance and I recent your implication that this is not the case.

  73. Nick August 13, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    Can I firstly say how nice it was to see some counter argument on this open forum, there may have been a danger that our arguments were getting repetitive and it has all been fairly one sided. Harry’s words were well chosen and he has offered another perspective.
    In response though, can I just say what I really want is a Cinema. If I see a campaign to open a nearer one, I will support that too.
    It is a shame that the first I heard about this was when the church had won the right to proceed. I am an atheist, but not a militant one, I don’t put leaflets through doors or anything. I don’t need to be made to feel guilty about preferring a cinema to a church, but having been born into the Church of England and rejected it I perhaps do find it easier to rate a cinema above a church, rather than against a mosque or something. That’s just how it is though.
    And I rate the two alternatives like this: I give a Cinema a 6, because cinema trips are fairly rare, but enjoyable.
    A church gets a 2, because they are architecturally pleasing, but I would never go. The proposed church loses both points because it’s a cinema.

    • Sarah August 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm #

      I agree with Nick, I am glad that there is an opposite view and it gives all readers a chance to see why the local community chooses a cinema over a church. There is no point in debate without counter arguments and I for one do not condone a ‘group think’ scenario.

      Harry you are very eloquent in your response and reasoning. However you perhaps fail to see the real community spirit in Crystal Palace. I for one am sure that I have very opposing opinions and attitudes to religion, law, fairness, education to many people on this site. I do though wish that a building that is an ideal building to be a cinema be restored as such. For a number of reasons which most have been outlined in previous comments, but primarily because I think that Crystal Palace needs it for regeneration.

      As a resident of Crystal Palace you should be very aware that the community vociferously oppose planning permission for developments they feel are not beneficial to the community. If you have researched the area and it’s resident you will have read that when trying to plonk a HUGE multiplex cinema complex in the area, people were strongly opposed. The baddie then was ‘multiplex’ as opposed to ‘church’ as you insinuate. Should another proposed development be so detrimental (see the ongoing debate over selling Parkland to fund park redevelopment) to the local community then I’m sure the local community will jump in to action. So why are you surprised by this reaction at all?

      So rest assured, this church is not being ‘singled out’ by me. I can safely look inside myself and know that I am not prejudice, I am an upstanding, caring, conscious individual and I feel absolutely unashamedly that I want a Cinema in Church Road.

      The article you have left a link for is very enlightening and for me strengthens the argument for having an independent cinema in the area and demonstrates it can be achieved.

  74. David August 13, 2009 at 11:28 pm #

    Mike,
    Thank you for your post. As a practising Christian I share your misgivings about some Pentecostal churches and feel very uneasy about the “God wants you rich, and we want ten percent of it” doctrine, and their selective quotation of biblical texts.
    However, this is a moderated forum about bringing a cinema to Crystal Palace, not about knocking a church. Your comments, however sincerely held, have no place in this discussion and are likely to divert attention from the main topic.
    If you would care to resubmit your comments down to “I feel I have the positive values and beliefs my upbringing has installed in me”, they will be considered for publication.
    I hope you understand our position.
    Best wishes.

  75. Barbarella75 August 18, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    I have read in various sources of KICC’s claim that its church is open to the whole community, e.g, see paragraph 6 in the following link: http://www.streathamguardian.co.uk/news/4504938.Cinema_chain_promises_to_meet_silver_screen_campaigners/

    However, I have also found evidence which seems to contradict that claim. Namely KICC representatives, including its main Pastor, Matthew Ashimolowo, signed a petition back in 2006 which opposes the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations, which was introduced in to 2007 and was designed to address issues around discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. The link to the petition can be found here:

    http://www.evangelicals.org/news.asp?id=466

    This is obviously a great concern as Crystal Palace has a significant LGBT community. What does everyone else think?

    • Jeremy August 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

      Just read the piece below discussing City Screen’s efforts to be inclusive – I work with disabled people and can wholeheartedly praise City Screen’s efforts – we frequently use their facilities as they provide ‘Autism Friendly’ showings where the lighting and sound are adjusted to suit people with Autistic Spectrum disorders. They have also very generously held public showings of films made by people with Learning Disabilities for which our organisation is very appreciative. They appear to be a very friendly and helpful business and are well worthy of support and patronage.
      Just another of the million and one reasons why I’m all for a cinema in Crystal Palace.

  76. Rosie August 31, 2009 at 9:03 pm #

    Has anyone enquired with English Heritage whether they’d support a campaign for listing the building? This is something that could be progressed irrespective of planning applications by the current owners, and is a tactic that the Battersea community successfully used in the late 60’s to prevent a nearby local council knocking down Battersea Old Town Hall – they preserved it as an arts centre, protecting half of its original purpose, that of public entertainment for the local community with halls for hire. (It’s now Battersea Arts Centre.)

    You’d need to check with the prospective cinema that they’d be confident of being able to do any modernisation they needed to support the business or meet current licensing law, because the last thing you want to do is to put them off bidding if the building comes back onto the market. But given that the building’s so brilliantly preserved – if Eng. Heritage feel it’s of some architectural merit – given Crystal Palace’s own heritage as a site of large scale public entertainment – the fact that it’s in a conservation area and under threat – and going with the planning dictum that the best use for any building is the one it was originally intended for – it might be worth exploring?

  77. G September 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    For me, simples! A cinema. As mentioned above, the idea of having a “Multiplex” with bars opening up until one in the morning was daunting, and could no way see it’s justification given the volume of traffic expected and it’s extremely late closing hours (suggested) and no public transport to dispurse the crowds. We, in the general area, have a multitude of local churches of all denominations to choose from. I’m thinking, what activity is likely to be more beneficial for the whole of the Crystal Palace community? One cinema.

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