New Rye cinema is now likey to become reality

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THE silver screen could be on its way to Rye with planner at Rother Council set to give plans the green light when they met on Thursday.

It will see the derelict lion Street FE Centre transformed into a cinema with two auditoriums of 102 and 48 seats.

The complex will also include a cafe and bar.

The Grade II listed former boarding school would have become a housing development if Hastings College had got its way.

Instead it was bought for the community by St Mary’s Church and the Fletcher Group community interest company.

Plans have attracted some controversy in the town with concerns raised over potential late night noise, traffic congestion and design impact.

But the idea has won wide support from people in the town, who claim it will provide a much needed new facility.

Rye Town Council is also backing the plan.

Rother planners received 28 letters of objection and 141 letters of support.

Those backing the plan claim the cinema will bring additional visitors to the town and help boost tourism and the local economy as well as being of benefit to the whole town and surrounding villages.

The cinema will show movies, including blockbusters in 3D, independent films, documentaries, locally made films and World cinema.

“It will also stream live music and theatre events from London and around the world, including streams from the Royal Opera House, National Theatre, Royal Albert Hall and Glyndebourne.

Operators Kino say their aim for the venue is for it to be as “diverse, vibrant and popular as possible for the local community”.

The cafe-bar and garden spaces will be available for local artists and sculptors to exhibit and sell their work.

In recommending approval of the application, Rother planning chief Tim Hickling said: “Bringing back the buildings to active use, should be to their longer term benefit and safeguard them for the foreseeable future.

“The scheme will provide leisure use and other recreational facilities not only for residents of Rye but also for the surrounding villages.

“Potential noise disturbance is a consideration and we are waiting for reports.”