Are Soho redevelopers about to claim another victim?
First Madame Jojo’s closes after being earmarked for redevelopment, then the 12 Bar Club is pushed out by regeneration plans. Now, the Soho branch of the Curzon arthouse cinema chain could be next.
Last week The Telegraph ran a story claiming that the cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue was due for demolition as part of Transport for London’s construction of Crossrail 2, which designated the site as a ticketing hall for the £25 billion project. Curzon quickly responded with a statement on their website declaring: ‘Curzon Cinemas have not received any formal notification or been invited directly to consult on proposals which may affect this iconic venue. As far as we are concerned, Curzon Soho is here to stay and it’s business as usual.’ So everything’s fine, right?
Well, not quite. Time Out spoke to Curzon and it turns out that they might actually be in trouble. They just don’t know – because they haven’t yet discussed the situation with TfL. ‘We’re aware that there’s a question mark over our future, according to the plans,’ commented a source at Curzon, ‘but we’ve yet to have a full conversation with TfL. As soon as we know more, we’ll be sure to pass the information along to our audience.’
However, their audience isn’t hanging around: an online petition started by a Soho Curzon regular has already picked up nearly 17,000 signatures in its first 11 days; the concerned signatories include some well-known names such as Mark Gatiss and Jon Ronson. And quite right too. This is one of the best cinemas in London we’re talking about. Why wait for the redevelopers to decide its fate? You know what to do.
Pre-empt those potential bulldozers at 38degrees.org.uk.