Three fire engines attended an incident outside the Chimeby Links internet cafe on Church Road on Friday.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson told News From Crystal Palace: “We were called at 1138 on August 17 to reports of a gas pipe leaking and on fire in Church Road in Upper Norwood. “The fire was extinguished before the arrival of the Brigade.

“Three fire engines attended the scene. “The incident was over for firefighters at 1239.”


Plans to redevelop the other former cinema on Church Road – the building to the right of where Everyman Cinemas are set to open in November – have been refused by Bromley council.

The application was for demolition of existing ex car showroom (Use Class: Sui Generis), erection of four- storey building with underground car parking for nine cars to form eight two- bedroom flats and one three- bedroom flat with amenity spaces and refuse and cycle storage and new commercial unit for A1, A2 or A3 use.

Bromley council, in a delegated decision, have given the  following reasons :- 1 The proposed development which relates to the Crystal Palace, Penge and Anerley renewal area does not seek to maximise the opportunities for enhancement and improvement within this renewal area or make the maximum positive contribution to the vitality of the centre within Crystal Palace district centre consistent with its heritage values and significance and for the benefit of the wider area contrary to draft policy 13, 15 and 94 of the proposed submission draft local plan and policies 2.14, 2.15, 4.1 and 4.7 of the London Plan.

2: The proposed development by reason of its design, prominent siting on Church Road and its relationship to the existing and adjacent buildings would not be compatible with the character of the surrounding development. It would therefore fail to preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area and represents an inappropriate and visually obtrusive development detrimental to the character and visual amenities of the locality contrary to Policies BE1, BE11 and H7 of the Unitary Development Plan, draft policies 4, 37 and 41 of the proposed submission draft local plan, Policies 7.4, 7.6 and 7.8 of the London Plan and Section 12 of the NPPF (2018).

3: Insufficient information has been submitted to enable the local planning authority to establish that the car park access ramp to and from the site and would not be liable to prejudice the free flow of traffic and conditions of general safety along the adjacent highway contrary to Policy T18 of the Unitary Development Plan, draft policy 32 of the proposed submission draft local plan and policy 6.12 of the London Plan.

4 The proposed development fails to achieve the targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction for new residential and non domestic buildings contrary to draft policy 32 of the proposed submission draft local plan and policy 5.2 of the London Plan.

An Australian, A C Matthews, built both the Albany cinema and the neighbouring Rialto (where Everyman are moving in).

The Albany opened in January 1930 being built on derelict land in just 15 weeks. The opening attraction was The Glad Rag Doll starring Dolores Costello, and High Society starring Laura La Plante. On the outbreak of World War Two the cinema was closed and requisitioned as a Government food store.

Released in January 1948 it reopened as a cinema that October before being acquired by the Granada group. Closed for reconstruction it reopened its doors on Boxing Day 1950 as the Century.

The Century closed for a ‘rest period’ on May 30 1958. It never reopened. In March 1960 the Norwood News reported the opening of Selhurst Park Garages new showrooms in the former cinema.

Sources: The Cinemas of Croydon by Allen Eyles and Keith Skone (Keystone Publications in association with Croydon public libraries 1989)

Focus on Film No. 6 Spring 1971 article on The Cinemas of Norwood by Allen Eyles assisted by Kevin Wheelan


Carberry Road off Westow Street is temporarily closed to traffic while Virgin Media carry out utility works. A temporary traffic works order anticipates works, expected to last a maximum of three days, will be carried out between 8am and 5.30pm over three days.

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