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Community cinema plan for Southsea

The former Halifax branch in Palmerston Road could become a community cinema and arts centre.

To be known as Southsea Community Cinema, the building is set to include a 40-seat cinema, an educational centre, small cafe area and display space for artists.

It is the brainchild of Portsmouth Film Society, which has been looking for a permanent base for its growing activities for several years. The centre will be open to the public.

The organisation, which is run as a non-profit-making community interest company, is working to take over the lease of the building, apply for planning permission for a change of use then, if it is granted, start conversion work as soon as possible.

Halifax moved out of the three-storey building, near the corner with Marmion Road, in May 2020 and it has been empty since then.

For the past 12 years, the film society has shown films at a number of indoor venues around the city and outdoors with a focus on English language and international films covering a wide range of cultural, educational and community subjects. It also supports a festival and encourages film-makers.

A commercial cinema is due to be included in the redevelopment of the former Knight and Lee store at the southern end of Palmerston Road precinct.

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