VOTE: Possible extra screens for Bognor Regis’ Picturedrome cinema

Queues form outside the popular cinema
Queues form outside the popular cinema

A first glimpse of possible plans to allow two new screens at a Bognor Regis cinema has been given.

Two presentations into the proposed scheme were given to members of Bognor Regis Town Council’s policy and resource committee by architects interested in carrying out the work.

No decisions on who will carry out the work or how the new screens could be integrated into the existing Grade II listed Picturedrome building have been taken.

The professionals had 30 minutes to impress the councillors at the meeting last Tuesday.

Andy Young of RBA Architects said: “This project is just the sort of opportunity we would relish to be part of.

“The Picturedrome is a building of great character. Over the years there have been a number of adaptations but even so there are still a great many original features, especially inside screen one.

“It is, however, fair to say parts of the building have fallen into disrepair and they will need to be addressed.

“Nevertheless the building offers a unique opportunity and chance to be able to offer something more and something better.

“The greatest charm of the building is in the levels, these are one of the cinema’s defining features but pursuing this does present its own challenges.”

Mr Young suggested two screens could be built to the rear of the building, one on top of the other. These may include concession stalls, storage, and access to the second floor by stairs and lift.

Next up to present his vision was Greg Froggart of Clive Sall Architecture.

“Initially when I came to look at the building about two weeks ago it became clear a different approach to the one I expected to take was going to be needed,” he said.

“As I grew up in the area, I know the building fairly well but after looking at it in detail it was evident my original proposal was not viable.

“Essentially what became very apparent was how much original detail and how unmolested the original hall is. This is clearly something that should be preserved.

“Any new work is not going to be able to replicate the existing building, but what we need to have is a design which is sympathetic, effective and utilises the building.”

Mr Froggart put forward similar ideas as Mr Young. The cinema should be extended at the back to accommodate extra screens.

The presentations were arranged after the town council advertised for expressions of interest in the scheme at the booming Canada Grove cinema.

The cinema is run by the Picturedrome Electric Theatre Company on a lease from the town council.

What do you think?

Would you like to see an extra two screens at the Picturedrome? Cast your vote in the poll the right of the screen and leave your comments below.