Locals get a gift

Passionate protesters save Art Deco frontage of Kensington Odeon
Odeon cinema
The Art Deco facade of the popular Odeon cinema lives on
The landmark façade of the much-loved Art Deco Odeon cinema in Kensington High Street has been saved by passionate local protesters, including film director Michael Winner and model Elle Macpherson.

The six-screen multiplex cinema will be moved into the basement, and 40 top-end flats will be built behind the frontage, along with five town houses.

Developer Northacre originally wanted to knock the building down and replace it with a new block of flats but it was persuaded to keep the façade and dig downwards.

Cinema-loving buyers with deep pockets who can afford the houses will have gardens facing Pembroke Place and Edwardes Square. The required affordable housing will be provided elsewhere in the borough.

Unusually, all 12 members of Kensington & Chelsea’s planning committee voted in favour of the final scheme.

However, local resident Caroline McLean said: "We are losing the big screen that used to seat 500. JK Rowling, who lives around the corner, will now have to travel elsewhere for a big screen to see the next Harry Potter movie. We are also losing the premier party bar, adjacent party room and outdoor café."

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