Pioneering high street regeneration developer and operator, Really Local Group has signed a deal with British Land to transform the 15,000 sq ft Karma Club, located on the ground floor and basement of The Broadway in Ealing, West London, into a new independent three-screen cinema and mixed-use community arts venue.
With localism at the heart of everything they do, Really Local Group will work closely with British Land to create an inclusive community-led hub with affordable entertainment at its core. The venue has received planning approval and is set to open in early 2022.
Designed by Wren Architects and Utility Projects, the ground floor will be home to Compound Coffee cafe and the main entrance down to the venue at basement level.
In response to the locals’ needs and changes in working patterns as a result of the pandemic, the space will be flexible to accommodate activities ranging from co-working during the day to community events and performances in the evening.
The venue will also serve as a collaborative space for businesses and community members to connect and a place for local talent to showcase artistic works.
The three-screen cinema will be located at basement level, with the film programming carried out in-house, ensuring a local focus. The pricing will be affordable, breaking away from exclusionary pricing seen at other cinema chains; this in turn, will create an inclusive ‘go-to’ destination for film lovers.
There will be two screens of approximately 100 seats and one of approximately 60 seats. In Really Local Group’s signature style, the fit out will be inspired by local architecture and influenced by the existing creative communities.
The venue will promote a diverse mix of cinema and performance programming with events ran in collaboration with local arts groups. The well-established creative community in Ealing will play an integral part in how the space is run and will have the opportunity to use the venue as a platform for grass roots comedy, music and theatre.
Preston Benson, Founder of Really Local Group, commented, “In our post pandemic world, celebrating our local culture and communities matters more than ever before. We are very excited to be launching our latest independent cinema led community hub within Ealing Broadway.
'Working with British Land, we look forward to further enhancing the cultural offering in a borough with an established arts and film heritage, while also providing an adaptable, collaborative venue for locals to enjoy.”
Tim Haddon, Head of Asset Management (Ealing Broadway and Standalone Portfolio) at British Land, said, “We are really excited to welcome the Really Local Group to Ealing, another important milestone as we continue the evolvement of Ealing Broadway shopping centre.
'Ealing has a rich film heritage, having been home to Ealing Studios, the oldest working studio facility for film production in the world. This cultural hub will enhance the amenities in the area and bring a range of benefits to the local community as well as attracting people from the wider area.”
Jan De Schynkel, arts and culture manager at Ealing Council said, “We are delighted that a new independent cinema and mixed-use community arts venue are opening in the heart of our borough.
'This great addition to Ealing town centre represents a new chapter in Ealing’s rich film heritage and will only add to Ealing’s appeal as a cultural destination and growing reputation for the arts.”
“As we look to a post-covid future, these exciting new arts and entertainment venues will help our town centres continue to diversify, reinvent and transform themselves to best serve their communities.”
Really Local Group’s status as a leading trailblazer has grown rapidly - leading to appointment from an influx of developers and London councils, and announcing six new cultural hubs for underserved areas across the UK over the past year.
All of Really Local Group’s forward-thinking independent venues, including Catford Mews in Lewisham, are uniquely designed to embrace the culture of the surrounding area and respond to the local demographic’s needs and aspirations.
Really Local Group also has a clear vision to improve the economic wellbeing of locals, by recruiting food vendors and craftsmen from the area the hubs are serving, as well as engaging with community and arts clubs to facilitate a much-needed social ‘home’.