“Probably a good thing” Chiswick cinema not ready till next year

The project director of the new Chiswick Cinema gave The Chiswick Calendar her reaction to the news that the release of new James Bond film No Time To Die is being put back till April 2021.

“It’s probably a good thing that we won’t be ready to open until next year” Lyn Goleby told us. “Every cloud has a silver lining and this is ours. With all that’s going on in the cinema industry at the moment we would probably be mothballing it if it were ready to open now”.

The news that the release of the new James Bond film No Time To Die has been delayed for a second time came as a blow to the cinema industry, following on from the postponement of two other major autumn releases, Wonder Woman: 1984 and Marvel Studios’ Black Widow. 

Cineworld, owner of Regal and Picturehouse cinemas, announced it was temporarily closing all of its cinemas in the UK and US, with the loss of 5,500 jobs in the UK. Odeon quickly followed with an announcement that they would be closing a quarter of their cinemas during the week, only opening them at weekends to save money.

“Knee-jerk reactions”

“There are lots of knee-jerk reactions happening at the moment” said Lyn. “If anything we will probably we slow to open so we catch the new releases at the right time. There will be a really good film schedule for next year, with all the films that have been put back as well as all those that were scheduled for release next year”.

The cinema, in the old Ballet Rambert premises by the junction of Chiswick High Rd and Chiswick Lane, will have three screening rooms when it’s finished, seating around 100 people each. There will also be two smaller screens, one of them for hire as a private screening room seating 15 people, with a private dining space adjacent.

Work on the new cinema “slow and steady”

Work was due to start initially on the cinema in June 2018. It was put back by various things, including squatters taking over the premises. Once work started in 2019, it proceeded well until the builders were forced to down tools by the coronavirus in March 2020. The contractors weren’t able to work again for over a month.

Since then progress has been “slow and steady” says Lyn. “It’s gone gently, slower than it might have done without the pandemic, but we have had no procurement problems, which I thought we might have done and we are well funded by Trafalgar Entertainment, so thankfully we’re in no danger of going bust”.

The contractors’ portacabins were removed from the site on Sunday 27 September and transition work is going on for the next phase of the work to be started by the company doing the fit out.

When will it be ready?

“We are now expecting to be open in the spring” Lyn told us. “We have got to be in good shape to show the new Bond in April”.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: The cinema-going experience is “a casualty of Covid” says Andy Harries

See also: Work restarts on the Chiswick Cinema site

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