Ealing's Cinema - No Laughing Matter
New petition launched - Save Ealing's Cinema
The news that work was finally starting on the derelict Empire Cinema site was swiftly quashed today (Thursday 25th November).
It would appear - although there has been no confirmation from owners Empire Cinema - that the work currently underway is to level the ground in preparation for ....a car park.
Council Leader Julian Bell responded to requests for information on the social network site twitter today :
''I am checking with officers but it would only be a temporary car park if that is what they are doing at the moment.''
The former UGC on the Broadway was demolished in February 2009 (apart from the frontage) to make way for a new 16 screen cinema but the remains of the building - opposite the Town Hall - have been left boarded up.
Five months ago Ealing Council began legal action to try and force the owners - Empire- to complete the work within a 'reasonable period'.
Local residents are angry with the delay and Kuldeep Brar has set up an online petition which has the backing of Council Leader Bell. She says:
''Ealing and film go together like Wimbledon and tennis.
"From the long history of Ealing Studios, which created the Ealing Comedies and 100s of other classics to the Art Deco original Ealing Cinema, where locals would flock to get a taste of movie glamour, Ealing is the place for watching film.
"It hasn't been for a long time due to neglect, but it once was, and should be again. Instead, Empire apparently wants to turn movie magic into a car park graveyard.
"We've been patient, we've seen the once glorious Art Deco theatre slowly crumble with neglect, but we still went to the movies.
"It's been torn down to little more than a pile of rubble and we're waiting for the cinema that was promised."
More than six hundred people have already signed the petition and it's expected many more will continue to do so.
The developers have reportedly given reassurances that the cinema project is progressing as per planning permission, however Ealing Today has contacted Empire on numerous occasions and had no response or confirmation that this is the case.
27 November 2010