This is Croydon Today – 18th August, 2009.

Petition for Upper Norwood cinema tops 5,000 signatures

Campaigners calling for a cinema in Upper Norwood have collected a petition with over 5,000 signatures. Protestors are determined to stop an evangelical church moving into the former Gala Bingo Hall building, in Church Road. Kingsway International Christian Church purchased the freehold on the site in June, but still needs planning permission to change the use of the building.

City Screen, which shows independent, art-house and foreign-language films, has expressed an interest in the building. And campaigners remain hopeful a new cinema could still take over the building. Around 2,900 have signed an online petition, with about 2,500 others putting their signature to a paper petition. One of the campaigners, Michelle Costello, 46, who lives in Upper Norwood, said: “It’s still going really strong. No planning application has gone in from the church for a change of use, so it’s a bit of a stalemate at the moment. “But the next part of the campaign will be to get everybody to individually write letters to object to that. “People just want something for the community and to regenerate the area. That’s what it all boils down to.”

By Ross Lidbetter