Brighton is to have a new cinema in the North Laine area.
Komedia has been granted permission to convert its upstairs live performance area into a cinema with three screens.
The existing comedy, music, cabaret and theatre auditorium, which could hold 560 people, will now seat 249 – with the three screens holding 125, 71 and 53 people.
The first floor foyer is expected to include a bar.
A letter to Brighton and Hove City Council on behalf of Colin Granger, one of the owners of the Gardner Street venue, said: “As a result of the current economic climate, our client is currently looking at alternative uses for the first floor of the building which would complement the overall culture of the Komedia.”
Today (Wednesday 20 July) the council’s planning committee will consider whether to allow the big illuminated Komedia sign to be replaced by one saying “Cinema”.
The proposed sign would be made up of 6ft high illuminated capital letters on the Gardner Street side of the old Tesco building.
Other new signs advertising the cinema are included in the application along with a new ticket office and doors.
The latest application is due to be decided at the planning committee meeting which starts today (Wednesday 20 July) at 2pm at Hove Town Hall.
The tough economic climate referred to in Komedia’s planning application is not new for the venue, which employs 11 full-time and 45 part-time staff.
Just over two years ago Komedia asked its creditors to accept less favourable repayment terms as the company found itself in financial difficulty.
Less than a year earlier the venue’s owners had bought a former cinema in Bath.
Shortly after its crunch meeting with creditors, it parted company with the popular Treason Show.
The satirical show had regularly filled the first floor venue but no regularly profitable replacement was found.
Some of the cast regulars from the Treason Show, including director Mark Brailsford and the actor Daniel Beales, are currently appearing in ’Ello ’Ello the Dinner Show.
The comedy dining experience is based loosely on ’Allo ’Allo and takes place at the Thistle Hotel in King’s Road, Brighton, with tickets costing £45 and including a three-course meal.
The first performance was Saturday week ago (9 July) with more scheduled for every Saturday until the end of August – and a few Friday in August too.