The controversial plans to demolish the (now closed) High Street Kensington Odeon have been challenged by a consortium who want the Art Deco building to be preserved as an ‘an asset of community value’.
Celebrities including Sir Ian McKellan and Dame Kristin Scott-Thomas have joined forces with “philanthropic billionaires” as The Friends of the Kensington Odeon. The group have backed plans to convert the 90 year old cinema into an arts hub named The Hitchcock in honour of the great director, a frequent attendee when he lived on Cromwell Road.
His daughter Patricia Hitchcock O’Connell has stated that the Hitchcock family “wholeheartedly” backed the plans and in an open letter to Kensington and Chelsea council stated that “We endorse the proposal to create a mixed arts centre on the site and name it in the memory and celebrate the legacy of my father, a regular at this cinema and a proud resident of Kensington”.
The battle over the fate of the 1,300 seat cinema (which was closed on August 31st) has been raging since the developer Minerva won planning permission to demolish most of the building and construct 42 flats above a reduced seven-screen cinema.
The council will decide whether to award the cinema special status on the 1st October.