BY TOBY PORTER
South London has dominated the winning rostrum in the Time Out Love London Awards.
Tens of thousands of locals voted for their favourite London spots – and a movie mecca campaigning against closure was the winner.
The Cinema Museum triumphed in the most loved culture spot award category, shining a spotlight on the iconic venue whilst it is in the middle of a bid to save the site and its future.
The old Lambeth Workhouse where Charlie Chaplin spent some of his childhood has been home to The Cinema Museum for 20 years, but is now under threat of closure as the site is currently up for sale.
It has a unique collection of artefacts, memorabilia and equipment that preserves the history and grandeur of cinema from the 1890s to the present day, as well as the only archive of cinema architecture, this museum is a real community asset.
Londoners got behind the gem in the Time Out Love London Awards, demonstrating just how important its heritage is for the city and how dedicated they are to preserve decades of invaluable volunteers’ work.
Another winner was a second movie mecca – PeckhamPlex topped the list of most loved cinemas while the Sultan in Collier’s Wood, a second home to many locals, won the most loved pub award.
Printworks in Rotherhithe – 16-acre warehouse in Surrey Quays Road, Southwark, which once housed the presses of the Daily Mail, Metro and the Evening Standard newspapers – was voted the most loved club, and South London institution Royal Vauxhall Tavern as most loved LGBTQ+ hangout.
Martin Humphries, co-founder of The Cinema Museum, on what the Time Out Love London Award means at a time when the museum is under threat: “It feels quite overwhelming. We know people love the museum – we didn’t realise quite how many – and this is so important at a time when our museum is in danger of being closed down due to the redevelopment of the area. We hope that the love of Londoners will help us through this very difficult time and that The Cinema Museum will survive and thrive. To have the whole of London behind us makes me think we can do it.”
Katharine Ford, Director at GK Partners, on The Cinema Museum winning the award, said: “In a time when art and culture is under threat people need to have a way of telling others what is important to them. Without the Time Out Love London Awards we are not sure where else those conversations might take place. Time Out noticed us a long time ago and they have taken a consistent interest in our future, they have become a serious player in hosting important public conversations about our cultural heritage.”
The board at the Cinema Museum, in Dugard Way, Kennington, had been gearing up to buy the site from South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust after 19 years of leasing – but SLaM has now put it up for sale.
Award-winning director Ken Loach has backed the campaign to save the museum, which has also a petition that has attracted almost 35,000 signatures.
Museum managers said they had secured funding to buy the site but current practice for public health bodies means they must try to get the best price if they try to sell their properties – called “red book valuation”.
Site owners the South London and Maudsley Mental Health Trust has insisted the law dictates it must maximise the cash it gets from the sale so has put it on the market with Savills estate agents.
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