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Independent cinema eyes up Brentwood car park site

PUBLISHED: 13:20 09 January 2015

The Genesis cinema in Whitechapel. Picture: Matt Thompson

The Genesis cinema in Whitechapel. Picture: Matt Thompson

©Matt Thompson

A businessman has announced plans to build a cinema/community hub on the site of a derelict car park.

Cinema owner Tyrone Walker-Hebborn. Picture: GenesisCinema owner Tyrone Walker-Hebborn. Picture: Genesis

Tyrone Walker-Hebborn, owner of independent East End cinema Genesis, has the backing of William Hunter Way Working Group chairman Cllr Russell Quirk after the Brentwood car park’s consultation feedback strongly favoured a new cinema.

The entrepreneur, who grew up in Stanford-le-Hope, gave a presentation to councillors on Monday about his successful cinema in Whitechapel.

It hosts mainstream, independent and world films, as well as community events and projects.

Tyrone, who has been putting on films for 16 years, said: “Council members felt that an independent cinema was the way forward rather than a big multiplex cinema. They asked me to come down and show that it was viable in Brentwood and the feedback was very positive.”

The Genesis cinema in Whitechapel. Picture: Matt ThompsonThe Genesis cinema in Whitechapel. Picture: Matt Thompson

The meeting was organised after 64 per cent of consultation respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would like to see a cinema at the William Hunter Way site.

Tyrone said: “We work with the community and local schools too and we’re like a real community centre rather than just another cinema.”

Cllr Quirk said of the prospect of a Genesis cinema in Brentwood: “It’s definitely possible and we’re entertaining the idea of a cinema that’s a bit more niche and community focused.”

He added: “There will be a process where we will invite multiple cinema operators to bid for the opportunity but working group members were bowled over by his proposition.” He acknowledged public concerns about anti-social behaviour but remained positive about the prospect of a cinema.

The Genesis cinema in Whitechapel. Picture: Matt ThompsonThe Genesis cinema in Whitechapel. Picture: Matt Thompson

Tyrone said: “Anti-social behaviour was a concern in the East End but we’ve never had any issues – we run a very tight ship and I can’t see it being very different here.”


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