A plan to redevelop and restore a iconic Bethnal Green cinema into a new 130-bed boutique hotel has been given the green light.
Mixed-use developer Southern Grove has been granted planning permission to turn the former Rex Cinema on Bethnal Green Road into a new hotel in a £45m project.
The London Tower of Hamlets has approved plans for the restoration of the original art deco façade, a single screen cinema, roof top bar, restaurant and 130 bedrooms for The Rex.
The Rex concept is based around the more formal 1930’s cinema experience in which guests can sit down to a meal while a classic film is shown on screen.
The boutique hotel will sit alongside the landmark cinema, featuring a large atrium and roof-top bar.
Following the launch of The Rex, Southern Grove will look to roll out the lifestyle brand across the rest of London, and will be ‘actively targeting new hotel and leisure development opportunities throughout the capital’.
Tom Slingsby, managing director of Southern Grove, said: “The Rex will offer a genuinely new format in an already exciting part of town and demonstrates the scale of our ambition. We are proud of our track record in delivering planning on this complex site within just seven months and are actively looking for similar opportunities that lend themselves to exciting new leisure concepts.”
Andrew Southern, chairman of the Southern Grove group of companies, added: “Despite the prevailing economic headwinds, we are confident in the depth of London’s leisure sector. With an astute approach to acquisition and development, alongside the operational expertise provided by our selected partners, we have big aspirations to become a leading provider of small independent hotels in emerging locations.”
Work is expected to begin on the new development in January 2018 with the hotel scheduled to open by January 2020.