For 16 years, the people watched the slow decay of the ABC cinema in the heart of the town, becoming ever more cynical as developer after developer failed to deliver on their plans.
But the old cinema site appears to be going full circle after a spokesman for its owners this week told the Times that plans include a return to the silver screen.
Three sets of proposals will be presented at a public consultation in the Camden Centre this week.
A spokesman for owners Altitude said although the proposals will be similar in terms of the mix of leisure, retail and residential – with mainly the aesthetics up for debate – a ‘boutique cinema’ would be included in all three.
He went on to give the 100-seat Electric Cinema, in London’s Notting Hill, as an example of the type of independent operator they will be seeking.
“We will be presenting three outline options which will be on display. Obviously the main factor behind any development is ensuring it will be economically viable, which is where our predecessors failed.
“We realise many people would want a big open space with a water feature, but that is just not possible.
“This means all three options will be for mixed-use schemes, with residential, commercial and leisure units such as cafes, restaurants and a cinema.”
Alongside the Royal Victoria Place development and Trinity Theatre, it means the town could have around ten screens by the end of the decade.
The two ‘drop-in’ sessions will be held Thursday and Friday [October 6 and 7] at the Camden Centre and are open to both residents and businesses who wish to share ideas or opinions. The sessions will run from 2-8pm Thursday and 3-8pm Friday.