Our Patch Spring 2018 Chiswick - Page 16

OUR PATCH SPRING 2018 LOCAL LIFE King Street cinema at town hall site F FRESH FLICKS our years from now, film fans should be settling into their seats in a new cinema as part of the Hammersmith Town Hall redevelopment. The site on which the old cinema once stood is empty and the days of the unloved town hall extension are numbered. Feedback from two rounds of consultation on the plans has been incorporated into the new designs, guided by an independent panel of residents. A final set of plans are being drawn up and if permission is granted, building will start later this year. With underground car parking, full disabled access and redesigned public space, the new town hall plans include a modern cinema on the site. The old cinema near the town hall was a Cineworld for 20 years, although the 16 / 17 three-storey art deco building dated from the mid 1930s. The very first ‘picture theatre’ on the site was The Blue Halls, which opened in December 1912. The following year it was extended into the car park area at the back of the present building, by the Great West Road. The art deco cinema opened in September 1936. The proposed triple-screen Curzon cinema will not only serve residents in Hammersmith, but will now have to serve as the new cinema for Stamford Brook and Chiswick, too. That’s because the delayed plans for a five-screen Picturehouse on the site of the former Rambert Dance Company site in Chiswick High Road have finally been abandoned by the cinema chain. Originally, the Chiswick Lane Picturehouse – 500 metres from Turnham Green tube station – had been designed with a series of different-sized auditoriums, the largest holding 420 people, the smallest just 16. But Picturehouse has now pulled out. We called their head office in Covent Garden and was told by an employee said the deal was ‘dead’. The new town hall plans include a modern cinema on the Hammersmith site They refused to elaborate, and further calls and emails were not returned. We also spoke to Kim Gottlieb, landlord of a portion of the High Road site, who said he was ‘still hoping’ that a new cinema operator would join the scheme but that it was ‘complicated’ – and declined to comment further. However, West London’s cinemagoers