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Work to restore Bromley cinema to original art deco design will close the site for most of next year

PUBLISHED: 15:47 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 10:17 16 October 2017

Bromley Picturehouse will be a six-screen cinema with a cafe and bar opening on the site of the 1936 George Coles’ designed Odeon, which more recently has operated as an Empire and then Cineworld cinema

Bromley Picturehouse will be a six-screen cinema with a cafe and bar opening on the site of the 1936 George Coles’ designed Odeon, which more recently has operated as an Empire and then Cineworld cinema

Archant

Plans were approved on Thursday night

Work to bring back the “romance and decadence” of Bromley’s cinema will begin in the new year, following approval last night.

Plans to restore some of the 1930s High Street cinema’s art deco features were approved at a council meeting last night, along with proposals to create two more viewing screens, bringing the total up to six.

Building work is expected to start in early 2018, with developers expecting to re-open in the winter.

Originally opened as Bromley Odeon, the cinema has since traded hands to Empire and then to Cineworld.

Now Cineworld subsidiary Picturehouse is set to take over running the site, which it has described as “a rare and beautiful example of an art deco cinema”.

Proposals to restore the cinema have been met with praise from residents, with one branding it “one of the most exciting planning applications for the town centre in recent years”.

Another responded to the council consultation saying: “The cinema will bring back some of the romance and decadence of the original venue.

“This is lost in many modern multiplex cinemas, if the new cinema looks anything like the original 1936 photos it will be unlike anything in the area and will become a much loved centrepiece to the Bromley Conservation Area.”

A spokesperson from Picturehouse said: “Picturehouse is looking forward to refurbishing the Cineworld Bromley (formerly Empire) and turning it into a brand new neighborhood Picturehouse cinema that offers much better facilities whilst restoring the glorious art deco features of the 1936 building.

“We will be adding two additional cinema screens, a cafe/bar and improving the screens and spaces throughout the venue. We expect to commence works early 2018 and re-open later that year.”

Frances Forrest, is manager of the town centre’s business improvement district, Your Bromley.

She said: “We welcome this plan to bring Bromley’s cinema back to its former glory.

“We are sure that the restoration, together with the more independent feel of a Picturehouse cinema, will attract many more visitors to Bromley town centre and its vibrant restaurants and pubs.”

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