PLANS to open a cinema in Shawlands are back on the table after years of speculation.
The possibility of entertainment company G1 Group opening a cinema in the southside has been discussed since 2008, with suggestions that the former Elephant cinema on Kilmarnock Road — closed in 1960, and used most recently as a nightclub — would be bought over and reopened.
In 2010, the G1 group said it had no immediate plans to buy another cinema — but a meeting with Shawlands and Strathbungo community council last week has confirmed that the company are considering adding cinema screens to Tusk, on Moss Side Road.
Andrew Montgomery, community council chair, told The Extra: “It’s in very early stages, but councillor David Meikle suggested that G1 come along and talk to us.
“The meeting was to see if the community was in favour, and there was a huge amount of support for it — a vote afterwards showed none against.”
Following the approval of the Shawlands town centre action plan — and considerable investment in the area planned by Glasgow city council — Andrew believes that a local cinema would provide a further boost for the area.
He commented: “We need attractions which will draw people into Shawlands — or keep them here instead of heading into the city centre.
“In the bigger picture, if town centres are to survive, then having a cinema on the high street is of major benefit.”
Suggestions include three 100 seat screens, as well as a live events space on the floor above, both incorporated into the existing bar and restaurant complex.
The community council chair hopes that current cultural events — such as the Southside Festival and Southside Film Festival — could use the space.
However, plans for a cinema at Silverburn shopping centre — part of a £20 million expansion announced last year — could provide competition for a smaller Shawlands picture house.
Nonetheless, Pollokshields councillor David Meikle is “delighted” at the possibility, and commented that it would be “great for the area if this happened — it would bring a big boost, which we all want.
“So far, the community council has backed it and feedback from residents has been positive.
“Obviously it’s at an early stage, with big hurdles to get over — not least planning and licensing processes — but I will do what I can.”
A spokeswoman for G1 confirmed that a southside cinema is back on the cards, commenting: “A representative from the board at G1 attended the community council meeting to discuss the very early stages of the plan — an early stage proposal was presented and as the assessment of development progresses, we will keep the community updated.”