Save 25 Church Road!

25 Church Road listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’

We are open to all options for a cinema in Crystal Palace but the reality is that opportunities are very limited due to the lack of suitable sites which is why we have continued to focus on 25 Church Road. You also asked us to do this. The building is the only large purpose built D2 entertainment venue in the town centre, a landmark with a long history of serving the community, providing local entertainment from its roots as a 1920s art deco cinema through to its use as a bingo hall as recently as 2009.

The building has in the past made a major contribution to the social, economic, cultural and recreational life of the district centre and must continue to do so in its future. It forms an integral part of the historic character of the town centre and its architectural and cultural heritage should be preserved and enhanced. It is OUR shared heritage.

In December 2013, the Picture Palace Campaign, with the help of local solicitors Amphlett Lissimore, set up Cinema for Crystal Palace Ltd, a not-for-profit company and nominated 25 Church Road for listing by Bromley council as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ under the provisions of The Community Right to Bid set out in the Localism Act.

In January 2014, Bromley council approved our nomination recognising the important role 25 Church Road has in furthering the social, recreational and cultural interests of the local community within its current D2 Entertainment use.

It is the first building in Crystal Palace to be listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ – a significant milestone in ensuring the continued recognition of the importance and heritage of the district centre’s largest and only D2 public entertainment venue.

25 Church Road has a long history of providing local entertainment and still retains some evidence of its grand 1920s cinema origins, in spite of KICC’s internal refurbishment (as a replica of their church in Hoe Street, Walthamstow) and their attempt to significantly alter the appearance of the façade back in 2011 which was refused at planning committee.

The building is now formally listed on Bromley’s Assets of Community Value register. However, challenges remain to returning the building to its full potential and to a use welcomed and supported by the vast majority of the community

What does listing mean?

The listing of 25 Church Road as an Asset of Community Value means the building which started life as the Rialto cinema and has served generations of Crystal Palace residents as an entertainment venue cannot now be sold without the community being given the opportunity to bid for it; we also hope it will prevent any further attempts to change its planning use.

It is just the sort of ‘Asset of Community value’ that the Community Right to Bid provisions under the Localism Act 2011 were set up for.