At long last, confirmation of something that will actually be built on the old cinema site… a cinema.
Following another public consultation, developers Altitude told the Times this week that while full-blown plans have still to be finalised, there will be a boutique cinema. Plus, of course, a selection of retail outlets such as shops and restaurants.
Sixteen years we have been waiting for definite news of what might happen at the eyesore site. Maybe someone should make a movie about the fiasco surrounding the most debated plot of land in the history of Tunbridge Wells.
The new boutique cinema is likely to prove hugely popular, particularly if, as is suggested, it will be ‘similar to the Electric’ in London’s trendy Notting Hill Gate area.
This small, intimate venue has long been the place to go for the cool and cultured who want something different to a multiplex cinematic experience. Instead of row upon row of stiff seats, overpriced fizzy drinks and jumbo cartons of popcorn, the vibe at the Electric is more friendly and chic.
The space, which dates back to the early 20th century, seats just under 100 people. It is a beautiful period building (ours will be new build) whose gilded interior reflects the glory days of the silver screen.
Its seating comprises comfy leather armchairs and two-seater sofas with little side tables for drinks and posh nibbles. There are even six double beds in the front row you can hire – complete with cashmere blankets – to ensure a really relaxing time.
The fact that you can also enjoy a glass of wine or a chilled beer and burger while you watch a movie – which could be the latest blockbuster or an independent celluloid offering – is an added bonus.
So, if the new cinema on the old cinema site is anything like the Electric, film fans will certainly be in for a visual treat.
Finally, a plea to our esteemed leaders at the Town Hall. Please can you not launch another project with the word ‘hub’ in the title? So far we have had Southborough Hub followed by the Cultural Hub and last week saw the launch of the Creative Hub.
It’s all too much of a Hubbub.
Richard Moore, Editorial Director