Derelict Luxor cinema declared community asset

The Luxor Cinema after it was almost destroyed by fire in August. Picture: Neil Godfrey
The Luxor Cinema after it was almost destroyed by fire in August. Picture: Neil Godfrey

The community may soon have a greater say in the future of the Luxor Cinema building, a month after it was almost destroyed by a fire.

The derelict building in South Street may be made an asset of community value (ACV), meaning the community would be involved in any process were it to be put up for sale.

Parish councillors heard of the building’s importance as a symbol of Lancing’s past during a meeting at Lancing Parish Hall last night. Councillors voted to approve the motion, which must now be approved by Arun District Council’s planning committee.

“A lot of people have expressed love and affection for this building”, said Widewater councillor, Geoff Patmore, who has been championing the cause. “The Luxor is part of our history and heritage.”

“If we preserve it as a community asset it means we have a voice”, he added.

The building was a busy centre of the community for many years, as a cinema in the fourties and fifties and later as a bingo hall.

It almost burned down on Monday, August 15, after a mattress was set alight on the ground floor, according to Sussex Police.

“It could have been a tragedy; it’s so full of memories for the people of Lancing”, Mr Patmore said at the time.

Councillors voted to put the building forward to be an asset of community value, subject to planning approval and the site owner’s right to appeal.

If the owner of an ACV decides to sell, the community has a window to raise money to buy it should they wish to.

While the council might not intend to buy the Luxor, the motion confirms the overall view that the building ought to be preserved and gives the community a seat at the table.

The council also voiced its support for any community application to make the Luxor a listed building, after some members of the community have been vocal on social media about their wish for it to be listed.