Outdoor rooftop cinema plan for Ilford Exchange

The plan is to show two films every day on the top floor of the Ilford Exchange car park. Picture: G

The plan is to show two films every day on the top floor of the Ilford Exchange car park. Picture: Google Streetview - Credit: Archant

The Ilford Exchange is hoping to turn the roof of its car park into an outdoor cinema.

Plans have been submitted to Redbridge Council and if approved, the cinema, run by Nightflix, will show two films a day every day for the next two and a half years.

As well as a screen and space for 200 people, the plans include a bar inside a converted fire engine, a food vendor and 16 portable toilets.

The audience will be in “seating pods, raised seating huts, pergolas and geodomes” and a marquee will be put up in the food/drink area if required by the weather.

In a report submitted to the council, the company said the plans were inspired by a decline in parking at the centre and the public’s reluctance to visit indoor cinemas post-Covid.

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The report reads: “An open air cinema allows visitors to enjoy the cinema experience whilst also adhering to social distancing and retaining social ‘bubbles’.”

It argues the cinema will bring “much-needed footfall to this part of the town centre”, which is suffering due to the current economic climate.

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The cinema and food and drink areas would open from 10am until 11.30pm every day of the week, with the first viewing taking place around half an hour after sunset.

The report explained that the audience would be given Bluetooth headsets to listen to the film in order to minimise noise disturbance to the surrounding area.

A report by consultants ANC, submitted in support of the plans, concluded that “noise from use of the Welcome Hall and audience interaction will not cause adverse impact to local residents”.

A lighting report, submitted by Elektra, added there would be minimal light disturbance from the cinema as “very little of the screen will be seen from the surrounding buildings”.

Residents have until October 30 to comment on the application can do so here.

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