The on-going saga of The Capitol being sold by Wetherspoons



My recollection was that the last time this was discussed (and it was a fairly serious discussion), the Council was unwilling to allow the building to be subdivided as it would need to be to be viable as a modern multi-screen.

Unless there’s someone willing to take it on and make it a huge single-screen cinema (maybe like the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill) it’s unlikely that a cinema conversion would happen.


Hi @Dave

My recollection was that the Council did not receive any formal or informal request surrounding the cinema at the time. I remember as I got excited about possibility of Cinema in our community.


See my first post on this topic , myself & @NewForester got the land registry as soon as we heard about this originally back in 2014. #4 on this I think.

I made a few calls and nothing was either confirmed or not confirmed back then.


Thanks @MajaHilton - I was thinking of a move around 2007/2008. I’ve had a quick look but I can’t find anything online to back me up. In any case, it’s probably worth another conversation now.

We just need a cinema operator to show an interest…


The Odeon in Beckenham has managed to convert its building into a multi screen despite benig in a listed building so it can be done. Their main auditoriums are still there, divided horizontally rather than vertically.


On a slightly different note, last week my planning committee approved application on a listed building, Fellowship Inn in Bellingham. The plans are to bring the building into its original use as multi activity centre (pub, music venue, cafe, cinema)
There will be certain loss of original features, but that is by far outweighed by being able to bring the building back to life.

Few years ago it was bought by a hosing association and they applied to Heritage Lottery for a grant. Which gives me a though…


Nice example!

Looking back at the sales brochure, aren’t they just offloading the remaining lease (another 8-9 years)? Presumably that makes it a lot less tempting to anyone proposing major changes, or to potential grant providers.

Did anything come of this idea?


Sadly, no Ed.

That’s the same impression I get & agree it makes it less tempting, but it could be a possibility that the landlord would be up for extending the lease?


Anything but a white elephant cinema. Or a creepy church.


How’s the Picturehouse cinema in East Dulwich doing? Given there are no cinemas in all of Lewisham there may be a market for one in FH for people south and east of FH.


This was the case for a long time, but the Curzon at Goldsmiths is in Lewisham, I think.

I like to think a cinema at the Capitol would thrive.


This ‘no cinema in Lewisham’ argument does seem a bit odd, seeing as we’re expecting people to go to the putative new cinema in Forest Hill from other boroughs, including some that rely on poor orbital transport links. ‘Oh no, I’m going to have to go to a different borough to do the following things’, said nobody in London, ever. One can get one’s superhero fix in Peckham, Greenwich, Beckenham, Bromley, East Dulwich, Brixton, Croydon, North Greenwich, Surrey Quays, etc, etc. Seems a crazy idea to me.


Entirely correct and I shouldn’t have suggested in the way I worded my post that it would be a consideration for punters. Might be a consideration for the council in supporting an application, though.


That much is true.


On no - this is only for long term residents of Lewisham and you’ll have to show some sort of ID at the door and recite the names of the local MPs before gaining entry. A local cinema for local people - we’ll have none of those Southwark types here :wink:

More to the point - is there a market for a cinema? I don’t know but I’d love the option to walk to one and there seems enough locals to warant one. If it can make money and service the local people/economy I can’t say that it would be crazy so I guess the point is - is it viable?


The East Dulwich Picturehouse has had the most successful launch of a new cinema that the chain has had and is still busy. Not bad considering the proximity of the cheap Peckham Plex.


Pretty sure a picture house would be in big demand in that location. But whether they’re interested or it’s suitable is another question. A music venue / theatre would be great too.


Has anyone heard any update on the fate of Capitol? My friend was just telling me about a new cinema which has opened in Clapton as a result of a crowdfunding project and grants. Could we do the same for the Capitol and make it a cinema, bar and restaurant location for Fo Ho?


Gutted the Spoons is going to go. Even more gutted if it will be replaced with another twee Antic-a-like pub. Not many places in FH are genuinely welcoming to the whole community. In Spoons you see mums having a coffee, families having lunch, older people having a chat (or a read of the paper) and a pint and then it gets a bit more lively in the evenings. Really don’t want to pay megabucks to go to a cinema that won’t pay their staff the London living wage either (ahem Picturehouse).
Can’t they just spruce it up a bit and bung a cinema screen in there somewhere?
Orrrrr… as it’s quite big, strip it out completely and fill it with trampolines like this
Would def make FH a destination.


Every time I see a new post on this thread I fear that a closing date has finally been set. I love this Spoons and really hope they change their minds.