Almost 5,500 people have signed a petition to save the Cinema Museum in Kennington – with almost 1,000 adding their signatures since this story was first drafted mid-afternoon today.

The campaign has already attracted potential support from TV chat show host Jonathan Ross.

The petition reads:

Love Cinema? Save The Cinema Museum

by Liz Waldy London, United Kingdom

The old Lambeth Workhouse where Charlie Chaplin spent some of his childhood has been home to The Cinema Museum for 19 years.

Despite numerous attempts to buy the building over the years and promises in writing from SLaM (South London and Maudsley NHS Trust) that they would sell it to the Museum for a fair and independent price, they are now planning to sell at speed to the highest bidder, telling them The Cinema Museum’s lease expires in March 2018, implying that we can be easily evicted.

The Museum has never asked SLaM for charity – it’s prepared to pay a fair price to secure its home and its future so why does SLaM keep refusing to do that?

The Cinema Museum is willing to work with potential developers to find a solution that provides affordable housing without destroying cinema heritage, our Museum and our important community-wellbeing work.

What SLaM may be forgetting is that the Museum is entirely run by volunteers at no cost to the public purse and it has a committed following – proven when the Museum recently won the Time Out Love London award.

We call on Dr Matthew Patrick and the board of SLaM, to keep their promise, be fair to the Museum who have provided vital community services (as well as housing the countries most significant collection of cinema memorabilia) and agree to work with us to find a solution that guarantees not just their sale profits, but also our sustainable future.

This petition will be delivered to: Dr Matthew Patrick

If you are interested in signing the petition please go to:

UPDATE: A spokesperson for South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust told News From Crystal Palace: “The Trust owns part of a former hospital site in central London, now vacant and nearly two acres in size.

“The site includes a number of listed buildings, one of these buildings is leased to the Cinema Museum.

“We are exploring options for the potential sale of the site. As part of this, we are in discussion with the Cinema Museum. “We are aware of the Museum’s situation and recognise the importance of its heritage and the contribution it makes to our local  community.

“As a public body, it is our duty and aim to sell these properties so that we maximise the value for these assets. “This will enable us to invest in front line mental health services for the benefit for our service users in Lambeth and surrounding boroughs.”

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