Article from KCW Today
Odeon Kensington High Street Cinema faces impending demolition by real estate developers Minerva-Delancey. The community has been struggling to save it for over 10 years but the time to convince Kensington and Chelsea Council is running out.
The Great Gatsby style 1920’s Art Deco building got more than 20,000 physical and 27,000 online signatures in support over the years. It is older than the Odeon Company itself, founded in 1930.
Names include big screen staples Ian Mckellen, Benedict Cumberbatch and his actor parents and Jimmy Page.
They remember the history of the cinema and the number of premieres, including Hitchcock’s work, that it has hosted on its own right.
Now online reviews mention uncomfortable seating, aging sound and screening systems, clogged toilets, and even pickpocketing.
It was officially closed on 31 August 2015.
Kensington and Chelsea retracted their refusal to allow works earlier in February this year. They are now considering a second Asset of Community Value nomination meant to protect the venue sent by the Friends of the Kensington Odeon.
The answer will only come by October first, whist a leaflet sent by the developers was advertising the start of demolition this September 5th.
Minerva is looking to build over 60 luxury and 20 affordable flats alongside a new cinema, offices and shopping space.
Friends of the Kensington Odeon founder Guy Oliver said: “We are in a bit of limbo at the moment.”
“We are confident we will get asset of community value status because we have provided everything that the council asked of us.”
Curzon Chelsea cinema was at risk already back in 2014 when Cadongan Group developers wanted a shopping center built in its place. It would still have cinemas, but only at half of the 710 seat capacity of the Curzon.