Highams Park News

Public asked for thoughts on plans to redevelop art-deco cinema

The council is running a public consultation until 25th March, reports Marco Marcelline

Artist’s impression of the plans, Credit: Mammoth Capital

The council has launched a public consultation on refreshed plans to redevelop a former Highams Park cinema.

Developer Mammoth Capital has submitted an updated planning application to turn former Regal Cinema into a part two, part six storey building containing 33 one and two-bed flats, a two-screen cinema and a cafe bar.

Though the statutory consultation period runs until 25th March, the council says it will continue to “accept” and “fully consider” consultation comments until the application goes to its planning committee “later this year”.

Mammoth Capital plan to “retain” and “restore” the Hale End Road building’s historical art-deco front facade.

The building opened in 1911 as the Highams Park Electric Theatre and was renamed The Regal Cinema in 1935 when it was partially rebuilt with an art-deco style facade, a new entrance foyer, and a cafe.

The Regal Cinema closed on 11th September 1963 and has since been used as a bingo hall, snooker hall, bar and nightclub before it was left vacant in 2015.

Planning permission for the Regal Cinema redevelopment was first granted in 2018, on the condition that the cinema must be open before the final eight flats were sold. This condition was reduced to five flats by Waltham Forest’s planning committee in 2020.

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In December 2022, Mammoth held a public exhibition attended by over 200 residents. Since then, the developer has updated the detail of its proposal to ensure compliance with construction regulations and design standards, and to make sure it meets the requirements of a range of potential cinema operators.

According to the council, there is a “range of interest” from cinema operators in the plans to redevelop The Regal. Mammoth Capital will be responsible for marketing the space and agreeing the lease with a cinema operator.

If the former Walthamstow Empire stays vacant, the redeveloped Regal could be the only permanently operating cinema in the borough. In July, the Empire abruptly shut when its owner filed for administration. The Echo understands that the council has been talking to a new operator as it seeks to open a cinema at the Walthamstow High Street site, however it is not clear how far along those discussions are.

Have your say on the Regal Cinema redevelopment by going here

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