16 September, 2009.

Pixie Lott and Spike Jonze add celebrity sparkle to Crystal Palace cinema campaign

11:30am Wednesday 16th September 2009

The UK’s latest pop princess and a cult Hollywood director have added celebrity sparkle to the campaign to bring a cinema back to Crystal Palace.

Pixie Lott – who grabbed the number one spot in the UK singles charts on Sunday – was snapped sporting a campaign T-Shirt backstage at the V-Festival in August.

Spike Jonze, director of cult classic flick Being John Malkovitch, was photographed wearing the Picture Palace campaign T-shirt while visiting London recently.

Getting celebrity backing has become the latest phase of a determined and highly creative campaign by residents to see the former Gala Bingo hall in Church Road turned back into an independent cinema.

Former Academy Award nominee Mr Jonze even had a word to say in support of the campaign.

He said: “Give Crystal Palace a Cinema or we’ll all end up watching movies in the mall. What a bummer.”

The community campaign follows the controversial purchase in May of the bingo hall – first opened as the Rialto cinema in 1928 – by evangelical church Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC) The majority of local residents were left disappointed when the church outbid major independent cinema chain City Screen, owners of the Brixton Ritzy and Clapham Picture House.

Thousands have since signed a petition backing a cinema, saying the area already has eight churches, and the building should maintain its community use.The hall is considered by many to be the key building in regenerating the Crystal Palace Triangle.

Thousands of residents are also expected to object to KICC’s recently submitted planning application to Bromley Council to change the current community usage of the site for use as a place of worship.

They hope if KICC fails to open its church, the building will be sold to a cinema chain.

The Picture Palace campaign team will deliver 10,000 postcards to local residents this week, asking them to send objections to Bromley Council by October 1.

Objections are likely to be based on the loss of a community resource, and insufficent parking for an estimated congregation of at least 500 people.

Rumours are swirling about who will be the next celebrity snapped sporting a t-shirt supporting the campaign. Pop group The Saturdays and singer/songwriter V V Brown were also given t-shirts along with Pixie Lott, thanks to a campaigner with connections in the music industry.

Spike Jonze got interested in the campaign after talking to a campaigner who represents him in the UK.

Now another resident has bought a t-shirt claiming he will get it worn by David Bowie.

For more information about the campaign visit picture-palace.org. To look at KICC’s planning application visit bromley.gov.uk Do you support the cinema campaign? Give your opinion in the space below