The Castle Cinema: Homerton’s art deco picturehouse could open next month

Asher and Dee inside The Castle

Asher and Dee inside The Castle - Credit: Archant

The Castle Cinema in Homerton could open next month for the first time in 50 years, the Gazette can reveal.

The old Castle Cinema in Homerton is going to reopen after a successful crowdfunding project

The old Castle Cinema in Homerton is going to reopen after a successful crowdfunding project - Credit: Archant

A crowdfunding campaign earlier this year by Pillow Cinema saw 667 people raise £57,000 to reopen the independent movie theatre above Eat 17 in Brooksby’s Walk.

Councillors are scheduled to decide whether to grant businessman Asher Charman an alcohol and film licence next week, but he told the Gazette he hoped it would be resolved before then.

That would pave the way for a soft opening in late November and a proper opening in January.

Asher also revealed the 75-seat screen will show three or four films a day and have an art-deco theme.

“The most important aspect is the luxury feel,” he said. “We will have armchairs and sofas rather than traditional cinema seats.

“We’re very much focusing on the community in terms of promoting and connecting with a local audience without it being at all pretentious.”

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There has been no objections to the licence bid by the public, with the only sticking point being police requesting earlier closing times.

The plan is for the cinema to show films until 12.30am Sunday to Friday with a midnight screening ending at 3am on Saturdays, but the Met’s licensing team say it will cause too much noise and a compromise will have to be reached.

Asher and business partner Danielle Swift have run popup cinema events under the Hot Tub Cinema and Pillow Cinema names since 2012.

Commenting on the recent walkouts by staff at Dalston’s Rio cinema and the Hackney Picturehouse, Asher said he was conscious of the need to pay workers the London Living Wage.

He said: “Obviously there are commercial pressures to make sure it remains open but equally we have a strong mandate to be doing right by the community so we are aspiring towards paying the London Living Wage.”