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.