THE ART Deco Society has lent its support to a campaign to save Stratford’s Picturehouse cinema.
The 1930s art-deco building – which has operated as a cinema for 20 years – is set to be demolished and replaced with a 81-room hotel next year.
The planning application stated, since the arrival of the Everyman Cinema in Bell Court two years ago, the business was no longer viable.
And Cineworld, which owns the Picturehouse chain, confirmed the lease – up next year – would not be renewed.
The building is cited as the last remaining example of art deco architecture in the town – a bold and geometrical style prevalent during the inter-war years.
A heritage report on the building – which began life as a garage – says although the cinema had retained some art deco influences, it was ‘bulky’ and not ‘high quality’.
But the Art Deco Society – an international organisation which celebrates the design movement – has argued the building should be preserved for the increasingly rare style.
Co-founder of the society’s UK branch Paul Stewart said: “The UK has some of the best loved and most coveted art deco and modernist architecture in the world however, it continues to be susceptible to town planning and development.
“The Picturehouse was built in the 1930s and is one of the last remaining examples of art deco architecture in Stratford.
“It remains a functioning and well loved structure by the people who live and work in the area providing entertainment and employment. Losing it will be a devastation and add to the increasing casualty list of lost rare buildings.”
Mr Stewart is also among over 3,300 people who have signed a petition launched to save the building.
Residents also recently installed equipment to measure air pollution in the traffic-choked street in a bid to get the decision over-turned.