New cinema?

posted in: Conservation | 0

cinemaThe hoardings were recently removed from the façade of the new cinema in central Ealing to reveal the imposing pillars of the old Forum cinema. The Forum was opened in 1934 by Gracie Fields. It survived several owners and changes of name over the years, and finally ended up as the Empire cinema. Sadly it was closed in 2008 and subsequently demolished. Fortunately local pressure groups, including Ealing Civic Society, managed to ensure that some parts of the cinema and the locally listed façade were saved. The demolition was followed by years of delays and crises, and ended with a compulsory purchase order by the Council which was granted in 2015. There have been many more delays since then, but the new cinema is now due to open in 2021 and will be operated by Picturehouse.  Cineworld, which owns Picturehouse, has recently closed all its cinemas due to the pandemic, which could well further delay the opening of a new cinema in Ealing. But at least we can admire the wonderful old black pillars opposite the town hall. Robert Gurd has written a piece about the fascinating history of the Empire and the two other cinemas in Ealing in our Summer Newsletter.