Streatham Guardian – 20th August, 2009.

Church submits planning application for Crystal Palace ‘cinema’ site

A church hoping to open on a site where thousands of Crystal Palace residents want to see a cinema has submitted its planning application to Bromley Council.

The Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) – which bought the former Gala Bingo Hall in Church Road in June – this week submitted the application to change the current community usage of the site for use as a place of worship.

KICC has promised to screen independent films for free each week at the church in an effort to appease thousands of residents who have joined a campaign to see the bingo hall – that used to house a silver screen- turned into an independent cinema.

Pastor Dipo Oluyomi, from KICC, said the church was “sympathetic to people’s views and worked hard to accomodate concerns over the loss of the bingo hall and the opportunity for a centre for independent films.”

The church said it has drawn up detailed plans of how it hopes to use the building as a centre from which the whole community can benefit.

As well as providing a place of worship, the church said KICC had particular expertise and experience of working with young people.

It aims to run weekday youth meetings and a children’s club.

Its plans also include a cafe and bookshop, and the administrative centre for its south London branch in the building, which would employ eight people.

The plans will soon be available to view, and comment on, in the planning pages of Bromley Council’s website.

The application is expected to go in front of the council’s planning committee in the next few months.