A new cinema for Hayes

After more than two decades without a cinema in the town, could a movie theatre be returning to Hayes?

That’s the proposal being made by the Really Local Group, which hopes to build a “world class cultural and creative hub” on a site in Blyth Road. Known as “The Gramophone”, the project would include a 3-screen cinema, as well as food and drink outlets alongside dedicated spaces for music and arts.

The company is asking residents to give their views on the proposal in a short survey on their website. When we asked, many residents were interested in the idea and even excited about the prospect of having a cinema back in their town.

“I’d like a more local cinema, my nearest is Uxbridge and I hate having to go through heavy traffic at times”, said Sheila Trant-McCarthy, 55, of Central Avenue.

Adult tickets for the nearby Odeon in Uxbridge regularly exceed £13 and there is a general consensus that a cinema in Hayes could provide a more affordable experience. Mrs Trant-McCarthy echoed these concerns:

“[I] love films but it’s too pricey going to big complexes.

“Add on three grandchildren, it’s a very occasional treat on a Saturday with them”.

In the 1950s and 60s, Hayes had three cinemas, all of which proved to be very popular. The Classic, The Essoldo and The Savoy all drew in good crowds as going to the cinema as a pastime continued to grow in popularity.

Bob Barton, 62, of Pinkwell Avenue, is anxious for a cinema to return:

“I can’t wait for this cinema to open in Hayes Town - it’s been a long time since we’ve had one.

“With enhancements to Cranford Park also in the offing, thanks to Heritage Lottery Funding, there’s plenty to look forward to in Hayes”.

However, not all residents reacted positively to the news, with some expressing reservations over both its popularity and location.

Amy Mott, 24, of Balmoral Drive, said:

“I go quite frequently [to the cinema] and all I see is empty seats and maybe a max of 20 people in in there.

“The location is also a put off. I live in Hayes and will still be going to Uxbridge or Ruislip even if they did put one in Hayes”.

Despite concerns over its reputation, other residents were far more optimistic,

“I think it would be brilliant!”, said Shelley Rose Marie, 47, of Glenister Gardens.

“Hayes gets such a bad name these days but there is so much growth to make it a great place”.

The project has been selected for the final round of the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, and the Really Local Group and residents alike will be interested to hear the final verdict either way.

For more information or to carry out the survey, please visit:

https://reallylocalgroup.co.uk/hayes/

Many thanks to members of the ‘Hayes, Hillingdon and Uxbridge Past and Present’ Facebook Group for their contributions.

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