Image: Norwood Action Group
From Norwood Action Group: Yes! An official opening date at last – Friday 9th November. Lambeth council and Picture House Cinemas coordinated the release of the long awaited news last Wednesday. Expect BECTU demonstration. No opening programme or events information yet. The library staff are excited to be back home with updated and improved facilities, and the public area as before, following their cramped tenure at the Old Library.
“IT’S TAKEN A LITTLE LONGER THAN WE HAD HOPED” (It was due to open LAST year, Lambeth!)
SPIN WARNING: Here’s Lambeth council’s press release on the opening of the new cinema / re-opening of the library at West Norwood. No mention of the deal involving Picture House and Lambeth council or the issue of London Living wage (“Lambeth is proud to be a London Living Wage employer with all staff and 99 per cent of its contracts all paying the rate at a minimum.” Key phrase: 99 per cent)
From Lambeth council: New West Norwood Library and Cinema opening date confirmed
The brand new West Norwood Library and Cinema in Norwood High Street will officially open on November 9, providing another fantastic addition to West Norwood’s social and cultural scene.
The project is a partnership between Lambeth Council and Picturehouse Cinemas, and will deliver a brand new town centre library with:
A huge stock of regularly updated books
IT facilities and free Wifi
Full access and reading equipment for people with disabilities
Dedicated children’s area
Increased opening times (54 hours a week, up from 42 currently)
Full time library staff
Regular activities for all ages
The cinema, run by Picturehouse, will have four screens showing all the latest films, alongside a bar and café area.
Cllr Sonia Winifred, Cabinet Member for Equalities & Culture, said: “I’m delighted that the West Norwood Library and Picturehouse is opening.
“It is going to provide the local community with a wonderful resource for learning, culture and entertainment, with a fully stocked and staffed town centre library with excellent facilities and technology alongside a cinema and bar, with community meeting space and employment opportunities.
“It’s taken a little longer than we had hoped but now it’s now ready to enjoy. It really is a huge piece of West Norwood social life will makes the area an even better place to live.”
Clare Binns, joint managing director of Picture House, said: “It’s always been important for our cinemas to be at the heart of the neighbourhoods we open in and we’re excited to be working with the West Norwood library to create a new and vibrant hub for this wonderful community.
“I hope Norwood residents will come and enjoy great cinema, explore the library and relax in our cafe, bar and restaurant.”
West Norwood Library and Picture House is a remodelling of the admired modernist building, featuring a new community room, hot food restaurant, cafe and bar for visitors of both the library and cinema. There are a total of 559 seats across four screens, the biggest of which comfortably seats 221 people and all screens feature state-of-the-art projection and sound.
As well as creating approximately 25 new jobs, the venue will see increased opening times and library facilities. There will also be ample space for visitor bicycles to be locked up.
West Norwood library and Picture House is fully wheelchair accessible with a lift and three disabled parking bays. Every screen will have an infrared system to play audio-described tracks (when provided by the film’s distributor). This offers voice commentary, through headphones provided, which describes the film to those who would benefit.
Visit the Lambeth Libraries webpage to become a member – for free!
Follow Lambeth Libraries on Twitter and West Norwood Library on Facebook
For all the latest on film screenings and special events run by Picturehouse, follow West Norwood Picturehouse on Twitter and Facebook
(Source: Lambeth council’s ‘Love Lambeth’ website)