New plans for the reopening of the former ABC Cinema on Whiteladies Road have been revealed for the first time.
It follows a lengthy campaign, which launched in the summer, to get the Clifton cinema restored to its former glory.
The kickstarter campaign, launched by the Whiteladies Picture House LTD, managed to raise the fund to pay for professionals to survey and assess the condition of the building.
Now, the group has teamed up with a local architect, Jonathon Lees, to come up with plans for the restoration.
They have been working on the project for the last 18 months and have today released the plans for the first time.
The proposals include a 580 seat theatre and cinema screen, with a smaller 60 seat cinema under the existing balcony and the reinstatement of the historic foyer and ballroom.
The auditoria will have 564 seats arranged on a curved plan looking towards the stage. ‘It will be a found space, with the seating and stage area acting as an installation to the existing structure, paying tribute to its wealth of architectural character and historic plasterwork.’
Bosses behind the idea want to save the features from decay say they will be able to conserve the damage, and protect the existing historic features
The plans will be on public display at Be In Bristol on Whiteladies Road this Saturday and Sunday.
David Fells, Founding Director of Whiteladies Picture House Ltd says: “An immense amount of effort and time have gone into the drawings and they have exceeded all of our expectations. Long term supporters of the building will notice that we have made some changes from our original aims for various spaces; these changes have allowed us to preserve more of the historic features , while creating an exciting (and financially viable) community focussed venue.”
Architect Jonathan Lees says: “Whiteladies Picture House is a fascinating piece of Bristol’s architectural history, with a rich and turbulent past. We are delighted to work with the Whiteladies Picture House Ltd team, who are dedicated to preserving the historic character of the existing building whilst providing a sustainable use that will benefit the community. We hope that our designs and artwork show that the completed project will be something for both Clifton and Bristol to be proud of.”
A pre-planning application for the project has now been submitted to Bristol City Council, while the group wait to see if their offer to buy the building has been accepted.
If the idea is given the go ahead, the first phase of the work could start within a few weeks.
David Fells concluded: “Like many of our supporters, we are excited about what lies ahead and can’t wait until the building can be opened to the public once more.”