The Phoenix Cinema is the oldest continuously running cinema in the country, dating back to 1910, and was in urgent need of repair and restoration. Funding from the Heritage Lottery find allowed a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) to be prepared by HMDW Architects. The CMP allowed an understanding of the building to be established, and set in place plans for managing change and maintenance.
A £1.1 million restoration project supported by a variety of people, including Michael Palin and Maureen Lipman, followed. New building services were incorporated along with insulation to make the building more comfortable and lower running costs. First floor offices were also converted into a café to provide a new amenity for patrons, with the front awning redesigned to incorporate a terrace. Reintroduction of the 1930s neon lighting scene on the front façade reestablished the cinema as a local landmark.
The the project featured in BD magazine (Phoenix in BD.jpg), the BBC news website and filmlondon, as well as an article in Church Building & Heritage Review. In an interview with filmlondon, the client noted: ‘We brought a firm of specialist architects, HMDW, on board very early. Their advice and guidance has been critical to the success of the project’.