North London's Cultural Guide

How will the cinema look? And act now to make it happen

Thousands of you responded to our story on the proposed new picturehouse last week. Now, without delay, register your support online

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First picture: an artist’s impression of the new cinema development

Our story last week on an independent cinema returning to Kentish Town after a 40 year absence was a monster hit for you lot. Not only has it been viewed thousands of times, but nearly 500 of you also shared it on Facebook or Twitter. The bottom line is: yes, we all want the movies back in NW5.

So here’s where you have to translate that enthusiasm into registering your desire in a more official capacity, as a planning application has today been submitted to Camden Council for the former Pizza Express site.

Redview Properties propose “to develop the existing building whilst retaining the façade to form a 5 storey building comprising a single-cinema at ground floor with associated cafe and bar facilities and 12 homes on the upper floors, including affordable housing”.

It’s the culmination of “extensive studies” at the site in addition to a public consultation with the local community last summer, which resulted in overwhelming support for a brand new picturehouse on the premises.


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A cinema will, say the developers, “complement and enhance the independent feel of Kentish Town with its current wide array of lively cafes and restaurants.”

Three useful questions

1. Who are Redview Properties? A privately owned property company with Manhattan Loft Corporation’s Harry Handlesman as one of its directors. MLC are the company responsible for bringing new life back St Pancras Station (one of Camden’s finest Grade I listed buildings).

2. Who are the architects? The proposed scheme has been designed by Allies and Morrison Architects. Recognised with over 30 RIBA Design Awards, work includes the refurbishment and extension of some of London’s most celebrated heritage landmarks, as well as the North Polytechnic building at 1 Prince of Wales Road adjoining the proposed development.

3. Who will take over the cinema? Still undecided, but frontrunners are Shortwave, the hip Bermondsey-based indie who propose a 50-seater single-screen theatre and cafe-bar. Also in the running are both the Curzon and Picturehouse.

Details of the application can be found on the Camden Council website under reference 2013/8301/P (or follow our link below). A likely alternative if a cinema isn’t approved is – yawn – either a chain pub or supermarket.

Click here to register your support; closing dates for comments is 11 February.

9 thoughts on “How will the cinema look? And act now to make it happen”

  1. DONE! I think this is essential for the Kentish Town community, an area rich in culture, once rich in cinema and desperate for its return. I live near the proposed development and can only see it being hugely beneficial to the neighbourhood; creating jobs, bringing more culture, a social hub, some luminary light – supporting established businesses and encouraging more businesses to invest in Kentish Town. I wholeheartedly support the development.

  2. Cinema can do so much for the community. Kentish Town is unique too – there are only a couple of arthouse screens far away, nothing local. And there are lots of great production companies and studios making TV and nurturing talent which could use the space too. I hope a new cinema interacts with them and caters to all sides of the community with special screenings and events. A cinema can be so much more than a candy machine Hollywood outlet. If this succeeds, and all those frontrunners would fit the bill as far as I can see, it would really contribute to making K-Town a special place.

  3. Would be v nice to have a cinema in Kentish Town. But, hang on, any more detailed plans of cinema; size? flavours of ice cream etc? These available in planning app.? Also, any COI from Kentishtowner peeps? Just asking.

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9 thoughts on “How will the cinema look? And act now to make it happen”

  1. DONE! I think this is essential for the Kentish Town community, an area rich in culture, once rich in cinema and desperate for its return. I live near the proposed development and can only see it being hugely beneficial to the neighbourhood; creating jobs, bringing more culture, a social hub, some luminary light – supporting established businesses and encouraging more businesses to invest in Kentish Town. I wholeheartedly support the development.

  2. Cinema can do so much for the community. Kentish Town is unique too – there are only a couple of arthouse screens far away, nothing local. And there are lots of great production companies and studios making TV and nurturing talent which could use the space too. I hope a new cinema interacts with them and caters to all sides of the community with special screenings and events. A cinema can be so much more than a candy machine Hollywood outlet. If this succeeds, and all those frontrunners would fit the bill as far as I can see, it would really contribute to making K-Town a special place.

  3. Would be v nice to have a cinema in Kentish Town. But, hang on, any more detailed plans of cinema; size? flavours of ice cream etc? These available in planning app.? Also, any COI from Kentishtowner peeps? Just asking.

Leave a Comment

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The award-winning print and online title Kentishtowner was founded in 2010 and is part of London Belongs To Me, a citywide network of travel guides for locals. For more info on what we write about and why, see our About section.