Thursday, 2 September 2010

Cygnet Cinema Shines

Como’s Cygnet Cinema may have new life.Tonight the Council was treated to a combined presentation by renowned architect Bill Hames and representatives of the Stiles family, owners of the famous art- deco landmark.

Mr Hames’ concept design retains the original building, while adding exciting new features. The early visualisation features a refurbished main hall plus four small cinemas, a Gold Class lounge/ restaurant and an outdoor picture garden. There would also be a super- deli to the east and commercial office space at the rear.

This seems to be a tremendous way to retain the heritage building while adding economic life to Preston Street. There are many stages to go through yet before this vision becomes reality. Commercial viability would have to be assured, as would matters like parking and the myriad other concerns around town planning. Consultation with neighbours is always a feature of development in South Perth, of course, and this might bring up other concerns.

Have your say. Just click on “Comments” below and log in as Name (preferred) or Anonymous, or email me and I’ll post your comments for you. What you say makes a difference.


Anonymous said...

We have been going to the Cygnet Cinema for over 30 years. She is fine as she is which is part of her charm. Parking in this area is always issue. Ever tried getting in and out of the shopping centre carpark?

Let's not spoil this grand old building like they did with the Raffles and overdevelop the site with too many high rise buildings, etc.

Anonymous said...

As you say this is in the very early stages however on face value it appears a terrific idea! Very important to maintain this wonderful community icon and local entertainment and seems to enhance Preston St as the central hub of Como.

Parking would be an issue - it is already. The nighmare of parking at the Karalee centre is known wide and far and theatre patrons are banned from that carpark!

I note quite a bit of vacant land in the vicinity - any chance any of this being available for parking - especially to the rear ?

It's a pity that placing a rail station at the bottom of Preston St wasn't considered favourable although submissions were made to the Mandurah rail plan to this effect. Not only does that provide alternative access to vehicles and parking, it would have opened the whole of the precinct to a much wider catchment from the whole metro area - this increasing the likelihood of viablity of any social business in the area.

The comparison to Leederville is emphatic - the Oxford Theatre and surrounding entertainment strips are only a short walk (but much further than a Preston St station access) from the local rail station - we have used to access from here quite regularly. Look how that has thrived to be one of Perth's major attractions! Why can't southside councils show similar vision - just because some state bureacrat says it adds a minute or so to the train timetable and "would put Mandurah people 'off' train travel" (rubbish!)we deny ourselves the most probable increasing future mode of city transport and thus access of many decades to come. Is it too late to revisit the idea of a station at Preston Street?

An alternative would be to consider such a development in the context of the light rail plan being considered that you have referred to in other blogs.

I hope you support this wholeheartedly and I also hope what is offered here might receive some serious consideration as part of that exercise.

A Teacher Dismayed said...

Beautiful. I loved going to the Cygnet as a kid. Perth has some wonderful Art Deco architecture that must be retained. I wish someone could plan something like this for the Beacon Theatre near my house in Fremantle on the corner of Wray and Hampton

Studio Gen-ius said...

We are delighted to see the heritage listed Cygnet is being given due care and consideration in development proposals and that the picture gardens are proposed to be refurbished in the current plans. The Art Deco Society of WA supports viable and sensitive redevelopment of the site that conserves the theatre and does not overshadow the building with high-rise structures.

Anonymous said...

"A Picture Perfect Plan" I'd say....keeping the great icon with some well planned re-development is just the recipe needed for the Como / South Perth area.

It would be nice to keep mixed local business kicking along with the ever increasing offer that surround us from neighbouring shires & key shopping centre developments.

Preston St could do with a little more life & I'm sure that near-by businesses would be in favour of this.

As for parking, I think the shopping centre wears the brunt of cars parking in it (& I’m sure some don't visit businesses that operate within them when they do).
Any re-development plans at the Cygnet , would surely address the need for adequate parking.
Multiple business & commercial purposes complimenting the theatre, would nicely compliment Como's attractiveness as a place to visit, work & reside.

This is a no brainer - its a BIG YES from me.
Como Local

Anonymous said...

I would hate the Cygnet to be cut up into little cinemas. The beauty of an old style cinema is something we sould keep as a heritage of how cinemas used to be. The council should put money into rennovating it, purchasing it or managing it as a community asset. Cheers Louis

Davina prisgrove said...

Great memories of visiting the Cygnet from childhood till now! No doubt the development will make the whole complex more financially viable and it will add to the Preston Street precinct. A great idea, as long as the facade is maintained. It would be even better if the theatre itself could be kept and a few other smaller cinemas and businesses added - c.f. Luna Leederville.