The long-term future of the Kensington Odeon cinema is still uncertain, a campaign group fighting to save it has said.
Guy Oliver from The Friends of the Kensington Odeon says he is working with potential purchasers of the historic cinema but they are being quoted “a highly unrealistic price” for the striking Art Deco building.
He said currency fluctuations caused by the Brexit had played a part in this, but despite being faced with an “uncomfortable waiting game” there still remains hope the building can be saved.
The curtain came down on the cinema on August 31 2015. Under plans for the building which have been given approval, a new seven-screen cinema will be built.
The development, which would see the Odeon’s facade retained, would include luxury homes, a cafe, bar and restaurant.
But interior gems such as the marble staircase and a mosaic floor in the foyer would be lost.
Mr Oliver said: “In recent months the market has been uncertain and the vendor/ their agent/s have been quoting what we believe to be a highly unrealistic price.
“Most recently roughly £80million more than what might be considered an appropriate or realistic value.”
But he does feel the plans may not progress.
“Having reviewed the construction figures with different potential purchasers, I believe that the current owners cannot afford to build out the consented scheme/s as they would not achieve the necessary ‘exit values’ for luxury apartments in an already highly saturated market,” he said.
With some preliminary demolition already started at the site, the building is currently unusable, much to his frustration.
“There is a shortage of cutting edge arts facilities in London and Kensington and west London are crying out for a cultural venue," he said.
“In effect, what has happened is that a perfectly functional building has been taken out of use and there is no time frame when the current owners or indeed anyone else could build out the permitted scheme.
“I am afraid it is all a bit of an uncomfortable waiting game but I have not quite given up hope yet.”
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A slew of celebrities were among the man thousands who signed a petition which was handed to government against the cinema closing, including guitar Gods Brian May and Jimmy Page, actors Sir Ian McKellen and Kristin Scott-Thomas, and Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who was a frequent visitor to the Kensington High Street picture house as a child.
Other regular customers over the years have included Princess Diana and her two sons, who would visit from their home in nearby Kensington Palace, and legendary director Alfred Hitchcock.
The Friends, who failed to have the building nominated as an Asset of Community Value last year, want to restore the cinema and provide a multi-purpose arts centre - to be known as The Hitchcock, Kensington - and had been in talks with three billionaire philanthropists who support their plans.
More than 25,000 people signed a petition in 2015 which was handed over to the Department of Culture Media and Sport in Parliament Street, Westminster (see videos above).
The real estate investment and advisory company Delancey is developing the cinema site.
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