Defiant campaigners carry on the fight to save Hornchurch’s Towers Cinema

The Towers Cinema faces possible demolition in the coming weeks.

The Towers Cinema faces possible demolition in the coming weeks. - Credit: Archant

Campaigners lined the high street in a last ditch bid to save one of London’s last remaining art deco cinemas and send a defiant message to Lidl.

About 80 people gathered outside the former Towers Cinema.

About 80 people gathered outside the former Towers Cinema. - Credit: Archant

About 80 people gathered outside the former Towers Cinema in High Street, Hornchurch, on Saturday with a clear message of “don’t destroy our heritage”.

Residents were left reeling after plans by budget supermarket chain Lidl to tear down the 81-year-old building were approved by Havering Council’s regulatory services committee a few weeks ago.

On Friday, residents feared the demolition had already begun when cranes were spotted getting to work.

However, it is understood workmen employed by the budget supermarket chain Lidl, which owns the site, were investigating the state of the facade of the building and prove whether the steel is rotten.

Mum Hayley Johnson has led the campaign from the very start and she has not given up the fight to save the façade of the building.

She said: “I am delighted with the turn out and support we have received from people walking past and in their cars.

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“I hope Lidl can see the local love for the building and make the right decision moving forward and compromise with what could be their future customers.

“It’s now more important than ever to show our support, we all feared the worst when we saw the crane on Friday but we are desperate to save the façade and keep our street different to any other town.”

The crowd were greeted with a chorus of beeps as buses and cars honked their horns to show their appreciation and love for the Towers Cinema.

Some of the other residents who have been actively campaigning for more than a year to save the building were also present on Saturday to make their voices heard.

Neil Hall said: “We do not want or need another supermarket in Hornchurch and we are here today to show Lidl how important the place is to us.

“All the original features inside are still in tact so why would they want to destroy it completely?”

70-year-old Paula Adams was also part of the protest and she used the historic building in it’s hey day.

“My memories of this place are of coming to the pictures and watching the latest film with all my friends,” Paula said.

“It was a social hub for many of us and it’s sad to think the building will be no more.”