Council's quest to preserve iconic Luxor sign after fire

Lancing Parish Council is fighting to preserve a village landmark after a fire almost destroyed it.

The old Luxor cinema building in South Street, Lancing was almost destroyed by a fire on August 15. Picture: Neil Godfrey
The old Luxor cinema building in South Street, Lancing was almost destroyed by a fire on August 15. Picture: Neil Godfrey

Members of the council, including councillor Geoff Patmore, want to renovate the facade of the old Luxor cinema building in South Street, Lancing.

They are reaching out to developers of the building to see that the frontage is safeguarded – particularly after it was almost destroyed on August 15 by fire.

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Sussex Police determined that the fire was started by a mattress that was set alight on the ground floor.

The Luxor Cinema in Station Parade, Lancing, in its heyday in the 1940's

Now derelict, the building was a thriving community hub for decades, first as a cinema in the fourties and fifties and then as a bingo hall before it closed down in the eighties.

And Mr Patmore, who is also on Adur District Council, is hoping the community will get behind the project, which will include a cinema morning.

He said: “The fire has brought to the attention of people and councillors how vulnerable the building is.

“We are trying to do all this work, and then a fire could have destroyed it all.

“It could have been a tragedy; it’s so full of memories for the people of Lancing.”

The community cinema is planned to take place at Lancing Parish Hall once a month to recreate the ‘Saturday morning pictures’ that were so popular at the Luxor.

The council hopes to screen popular films for children aged four to seven to attend with their parents, with access to the bar in the intermissions and ushers to provide refreshments.

Mr Patmore said: “What we would like is to preserve the sign, tidy it up and put it back to how it was. That would be wonderful.

“People will come off the train at Lancing station and immediately think what a wonderful statement for Lancing: that they look after their buildings and preserve memories for the future.”

He added that the Planning and Building Control team at the district council ‘had the Luxor on their radar’ and that he had informed the chief executive about the situation.

“It is early days, but we are all working towards the same goal. I’m feeling very positive about it,” he said.

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