Earlier this month, I mentioned that the Tyneside Cinema was going ahead with its ambitious plan to not only restore the premises to their original glory, but also to expand. Now things are beginning to happen. The cinema is to close next month and will re-open in its new (or is that old?) form some time in 2008. In the meantime, they are shifting operations south of the river to Gateshead Town Hall. The Town Hall stopped being the centre of local administration when the Civic Centre opened around twenty years ago, and has had a variety of uses since – private offices, the temporary HQ for the Sage Gateshead before the glorious curvy thing was finished, and probably some other things too. But now the actual hall inside the building is being restored. Wall panels and false floors have been removed, revealing a respectable size hall complete with stage.
This looks like good news all round. The cinema continues to operate during the building works, the contractors can just get on with the job without having to work around people still trying to work there, and Gateshead gets a new venue, which will, I hope, be used for other purposes after the cinema goes home in a couple of years.