Margate’s Dreamland Cinema to be refurbished

27/06/2011

Kent News reports that urgent repair work on the Dreamland Cinema building has got under way in a bid to repair damage to the listed building.

The work comes hot on the heels of a compulsory purchase order served on the previous owners of the site, the Margate Town Centre Regneration Company.

Repairs are being carried out on behalf of Thanet District Council, after a series of Urgent Works Notices were served on the owners of the building earlier this year.

Leader of the council, Cllr Bob Bayford, said: “It is absolutely tragic to see the sad state that the Dreamland Cinema building is in today. ”It’s a beautiful building and one that has rightly been given Grade II* listed status. 

“Photographs of the building in the heyday highlight just how important it was to Margate. We need to ensure that it is preserved for future generations and sadly the current owners have taken no such action to do this. Regrettably, today when you visit the building, you’re more likely to find leaking roofs and bird mess than the sumptuous interiors that once greeted people. This can’t be allowed to continue.”

Grade II* status is only granted to around five per of the UK’s listed buildings, and denotes particularly important buildings of more than special interest.

The work is expected to be complete by October 2011. Money from the Sea Change Fund is paying for the work to be carried out, with the aim of then working to reclaim the cost from the owners of the site.

The required work includes a full electrical inspection, new lighting throughout, new heating system, repairing and replacing the roofs, refurbish or replacing windows and doors and removing all pigeon fouling and debris.

The Dreamland Cinema building was opened in 1935 and contained a 2,200 seat cinema, ballroom, restaurants and lounges.

However, the roof of the cinema has been leaking, leading to damage in the cinema, bingo hall and amusement arcade. Additionally, a burst water pipe in the tea bar of the bingo hall caused further damage to the building.

The council is working in partnership with the Dreamland Trust to create a world first for the site, an amusement park of thrilling historic rides. The project has already received funding from the council, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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