Almondsbury cinema backed by planning chiefs
CINEPHILES could soon welcome a vintage picture house with a distinct 1940s feel right at the heart of Almondsbury.
Despite some opposition in the village a lavish £25,000 retro cinema at Almondsbury Tower House has been recommended for approval by planning chiefs.
A total of 63 letters of objections were received by South Gloucestershire Council officers demanding that the scheme, put forward by Tower House owner Graham Pendrill, be thrown out.
Almondsbury Parish council voiced fears that a the movie house, located so close to the Scouts Hall, would "impinge" on the children's activities and pose potential safety risks.
Concerns were also expressed about parking. The cinema would include a 21-bay car park but this would not be enough, according to the parish, and would force cinema-goers to park on the street becoming a danger to motorists driving along the A38.
Light and noise pollution were also major issues for villagers.
But officers felt these were no grounds to oppose Mr Pendrill's project.
The millionaire antiques dealer, who is in the process of converting one of the 19-century mansion's many rooms into a 60-seater cinema and theatre, will now have to make the case for the venue to South Gloucestershire Council's development committee members on Friday, September 13.
It will be up to them to approve or oppose the application, regardless of council officers' recommendation to back the plans.
Mr Pendrill, 62, has used his flair and expertise to create a unique experience worthy of the best movie theatres of Hollywood's golden age, complete with a bar, an old-fashioned theatre curtain and draperies and a Punch and Judy ticket booth.
The venue would welcome locals every week from Wednesday to Saturday between 7pm and 10pm.
In keeping with the olden-days atmosphere, were the application to be approved, only Hollywood classics would be shown on the cinema's three metre by 2.2 metre screen.
Cinema-goers would also be escorted to their seats, church pews, by an usherette dressed in vintage uniform and selling treats from a hostess tray.
They would be able to enjoy a glass of wine, beer, juice or a cup of tea during the screenings.
Local theatre groups would also be invited to use the theatre, which has been fitted with a small stage.
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