Following last week's announcement that Multiyork has gone into administration, local residents have taken to social media to call for the Rex building to be turned back into a cinema.
The Rex building, one of our few Art Deco buildings in Wilmslow, was originally built as a cinema in 1936. It later diversified and was used for both professional and amateur theatre productions, as well as movies.
Alan Cooper of Wilmslow History Society told wilmslow.co.uk "It was actually often a testing ground for productions before they went to the West End. Stars like Susannah York, Denholm Elliot, Peter O'Toole, David Jason were on stage here.
"Interestingly it was the scene of some controversy when Oswald Mosley held a rally there on 5th November 1939 leading to some disturbances outside the cinema!"
Below are a selection of some of the comments posted on our Facebook page:
"Get it back as a Cinema, The Cinemac in the Heritage centre in Macclesfield does a roaring trade, nearly 1200 saw Paddington there on last Sunday alone over 4 showings. Hope the staff get alternative employment asap."
"Turn the building back into an amazing cinema."
"My thoughts exactly. The Savoy in Heaton Moor would be a good example to follow."
"Sad for the staff but I'd love to see a cinema back in wilmslow. As the poster above said, Cinemac have got it right, I was at Cinemac on Sunday to see large numbers turned away as it was full. Surely a cinema could be viable in our town !"
"Pleeeeeease turn it back into a cinema it would be so lovely to have it returned to its original use."
"Bring the cinema back to Wilmslow at the Rex, bring back some of the old character that it used to have! Still sad however for those who will lose their jobs!"
"Sorry for the shop staff, but another vote for cinema from me. Need a good independent company like Curzon to run it."
"Never been in since the Rex closed unfortunately.... would LOVE the old cinema back like they have in Knutsford."
"A great opportunity to bring back Wilmslow's long lost cinema!!!"
"It would be wonderful to have the Rex Cinema back! I'm sure there would be local support for it."
Brian Donohue, Chairman of the Wilmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group said, "In responding to our surveys a lot of people said they would like a cinema in Wilmslow. In the Neighbourhood Plan we have linked this to other ideas such as a town centre theatre, arts, library and community facility and included an 'Arts facility for Wilmslow' as an aspiration (A9) in our Emerging Policies Document. We are drawing up the policies and aspirations in more detail at the moment."
Councillor Martin Watkins, Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council said "The Town Council is aware of the feedback received during the Neighbourhood Plan consultation with regards to a space in Wilmslow for film and arts and also of the fond regard that the public have for the Rex Building.
"The current situation is that the building is occupied and we wouldn't wish to add to the concerns of the employees that may be at risk by adding to speculation. Should the situation change then the Town Council would need to determine if and how it may get involved and if that opportunity was realistic."