CAMPAIGNERS hoping to save King Street's cinema have welcomed the announcement of an independent cinema chain being selected for the area but are concerned about a lack of capacity.
Residents learned this week that Curzon Cinemas - known for its mix of independent, international and mainstream films - will be the operators for a proposed new 250 seat cinema, which will be housed in suspended auditorium pods at first and second floor levels in the former Hammersmith Town Hall Extension building.
The proclamation from King Street Developments was met with a mixture of joy and dispair by campaigners from the Save our Cinema group, which is headed up by Oscar winning actress Vanessa Redgrave.
Carlo Nero, her son and a staunch supporter of the current Cineworld in King Street, said it is a victory on one hand because there is still going to be a cinema, but on the other hand it is very small, capacity wise.
He said: “We're very grateful that Curzon was chosen as it was the group's preferred cinema and they have a love of film and film culture which will be great for the area.
“However, it will only seat 250 people over three screens which is very small. My fear is that it will be very very niche because of its size so won't be that popular. It's important for a cinema to show not just independent and international films but also big hits such as Skyfall.
“The current Cineworld will be taken over by council offices which we feel they don't really need, while they reclad the Town Hall Extension and put this small cinema in. Hammersmith won't have a cinema for a while as it will take a long time to build; the developers have got away with something that won't benefit the community in the long run. Having said that, we are very happy Curzon has been chosen.”
However, King Street Developments, have said Curzon believe the three screen cinema will be welcomed by film lovers and will complement the proposed Picture House cinema in Chiswick, just minutes down the road in the former Rambert dance studios.
A spokesperson for King Street Developments, said: “We have consulted extensively on our cinema proposals over the past nine months, holding regular meetings with local resident and amenity groups as well as three public exhibitions.
"We have been delighted that the vast majority of local people have expressed their support for the new cinema and the wider regeneration proposals for the area around Hammersmith Town Hall.
“The new cinema on King Street will offer the opportunity to simultaneously show a combination of mainstream and independent films. In addition the considerable public space surrounding the cinema will provide an excellent location for related events, such as premieres, outdoor screenings and film festivals.
“Curzon are also excited by the unique designs for the cinema proposed by Hammersmith-based architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.”
The proposals for the development will be on display this Friday (5) from 3pm to 7pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm on the forecourt of Hammersmith Town Hall.