THE FIRST STEPS towards the restoration and regeneration of the State Cinema in Grays were taken yesterday at the planning meeting of the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation (DC).
The DC granted approval for the building consent to carry out a programme of works to the Grade II* listed building which will enable it to be used as a mixed use venue for leisure purposes.
The venue closed in 1991, has changed hands on a number of occasions but has also seen the interior suffer. Recently, the cinema organ was stripped of its pipes.
The building is owned by TSP Properties Ltd of Waltham Forest.
Speaking at the meeting, architectural historian, Eva Branscombe described the State Cinema as ‘One of the most important buildings of its type in the UK”
Members of the DC, which ceases to exist in April stressed the importance of moving this development on.
Much of the debate centred on the installation of a lift whilst the main body of the application, which requested the leisure facilities and a conference centre.