Cinema’s past remembered by town fans

Rob Lane with some of his family's memorabilia from when they founded and managed the Hippodrome Cinema Ripley

Rob Lane with some of his family's memorabilia from when they founded and managed the Hippodrome Cinema Ripley

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Ripley folk have been left stunned by the news that the Hippodrome Cinema building is set to be demolished this month.

The building’s owner has sought permission to knock it down with Amber Valley Borough Council due to its unsafe condition.

In a planning application he states that the building is in a very poor state of repair and the main roof of the cinema auditorium has collapsed.

Rob Lane, 41, of Flamstead Avenue, Loscoe, whose great, great grandfather helped build the cinema more than a century ago, said the old building was a symbol of Ripley’s past and the news was a real shame.

He added: “I grew up with the Saturday matinees - as lots of people did. Then there was Tonkers nightclub when I left school. That was the first time I talked to my wife. I have so many memories of that building.

“I can remember when they showed Rocky IV in 1985 and there were hundreds of kids outside queueing-up.”

Rob’s thoughts have been echoed by the replies to his Facebook post about the sad news.

The post has been shared 120 times and hundreds have reacted on the social media platform.

Scott Smith said: “Happy times there. So many good films seen there, so sad if we lost this part of Ripley’s history. Also very good times in Tonkers.”

Rachel Haigh said: “I am not one for nostalgia but this place holds a special place in my childhood memories. I saw my first film there - ET. I could only have been about two.”

A case planning officer at Amber Valley Borough Council confirmed demolition was due to start this month, but the owner had agreed to try and save the building’s facade if he could.

To see the planning application, visit http://docs.ambervalley.gov.uk/Planning and search for AVA/2016/0521.