Attached is the ABC report on the outcomes of the Burnside Council Meeting last night where the Council voted to sell the Cinema by open tender after they give the Wallis group 120 days to come up with a proposal to buy the cinema.
There were many members in the gallery and our Convenor, Fran Smith was fantastic in her deputation to the Council on the merits of the Chelsea and the Society's views of how it should be preserved.
The Art Deco & Modernism Society's preferred option would have been that the Cinema was retained by the Council as this would have ensured a safer future for the State Heritage listed Cinema.
Secondly, if the cinema is to be sold it would be the society's position that it is retained as a public entertainment venue; although it is acknowledged that once in public hands there is a risk that the site (in a very enviable position) may be at risk of unsympathetic development, change of use and pressure to alter parts of the State Heritage listing. This may not be a short term risk but you can imagine the development pressures in 30-50 years time. (ie. keep the facade, cinema lobby and fill in the auditorium with say apartments or shops).
The Wallis Group, who have been operating the cinema for many years, (but not since it was built - I think it the Star Group had it for many years) sound keen to purchase the cinema and add further screens. They would be encouraged by the Society to retain the full auditorium as it is today. They also own the Piccadilly which is State Heritage Listed but was internally modified several years ago.
The best thing about this issue is that it highlights the concerns of Adelaide residents to retain Art Deco architecture and that is the very best way to save our InterWar heritage into the future.
Thankyou to everyone for their support and comments.
The Adelaide Chapter of the Art Deco and Modernism Society