Fury as eyesore Stafford cinema is left to rot

The abandoned former Stafford Cinema has quickly turned into an eyesore in the heart of town since closing just a month ago.

Stafford Cinema closed in December
Stafford Cinema closed in December

The historic landmark, built in the 1930s, can be seen with wires hanging loose and steel sheets over the windows and doors.

Calls are now being made for Stafford Borough Council to act fast to stop it becoming a blot on the landscape.

Stafford Cinema closed in December

Mystery surrounds what the future holds for the three-screen, 400-seat cinema on Newport Road, which is in limbo after suddenly closing.

Councillor Christine Baron said: “It is disgraceful the building has closed and fallen into disrepair. It is in such a prominent position in Stafford and it is a crying shame.

“I am asking if there is anything we can do to put pressure on the owner to keep it up to date because you cannot leave it life that.

“The whole area is in a terrible state and needs to be smartened up. They will not be able to sell it on it if it is a mess.”

The future of the building looked secure back in November when the estate agents who are marketing it, Millar Sandy, said two formal offers had been made.

But nothing has been confirmed since and it remains on their website as a feature property inviting offers in the region of £750,000 for the 12,025sq site.

It went on the market two years ago, shortly after the newest state-of-the-art cinema at Riverside was granted planning permission.

Landmark

MP for Stafford Jeremy Lefroy said: “I would hope the owners would look after it because it is in their interest to do so. I will talk with the borough council to see what their view is on the state of the building but with privately owned buildings there is not much you can do unless it is a risk to the public.

“It clearly it belongs to someone who needs to make sure it remains in good repair.

“There are always buildings in transition particularly in a historic town such as Stafford including Shugborough Hall when it was handed back to the National Trust and Shire Hall at the moment but that has got to be put back into public use as soon as possible.

“Ultimately, buildings have to have sustainable use and when that is a historic and listed building, it is not as easy as it seems. I would be very supportive of the cinema being put into use again.”

It is one of many landmarks in the town including Shire Hall, the Carnegie Library and Chetwynd House.

It was built back in the 1930s with Curzon the last to run it.

The last film that was shown was the newest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi.

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