Plan to turn Hither Green cinema into flats

Image courtesy of Google Street View
The passing of the Golden Age of Lewisham Cinema is something that many BCers mourn, so it is worth noting that a planning application has gone in to convert one of the borough's former picture palaces into flats.

What is now Carpet Corner at 232 Hither Green Lane was once the Park Cinema. Developers have applied for permission for: "The part demolition, alteration and extension of 232 Hither Green Lane, SE13 to provide a three storey building comprising a ground floor A1 food retail unit, the creation of six residential units on the 1st and 2nd floors."

Richard Gray of the Cinema Theatre Association explains:

The cinema opened on 22 December 1913 and was designed by Edward Albert Stone of local architects Norfolk and Prior (Stone went on to design some of the most ambitious cinemas in London, such as the Astoria, Finsbury Park, now a church, and its sister, the Astoria, Brixton, now the Academy music venue). 

The Park's auditorium was on two levels, stalls and balcony, and had an organ to accompany the silent pictures. It was modernised by Leslie Kemp in c.1931, 'streamlining' the façade of its Edwardian embellishments and presumably similar treatment happened internally. 

Always an 'independent' (rather than a 'circuit' house) it was an early closure on 14 December 1957, when it was converted to a boating store, while in recent years it has been in use as an indoor childrens' playground. 

It was sold in the Summer of 2008 and the Cinema Treasurers website says in 2011 a campaign was started to return the cinema to film use. We will object to Lewisham council as it obviously of some use to the community rather than just becoming flats.

Thanks to Joe from The Victorian Society for the information.