Showtime for construction works at Cadogan’s Chelsea cinema scheme


Works are due to start on-site in the first week of April, delivering 47 residential units

Family-owned construction firm Wates is due to start works on-site at Cadogan’s ambitious mixed-use redevelopment of the Curzon Cinema site in SW3 in the first week of April.

Once fully completed in Spring 2022, the six-storey scheme at 196-222 King’s Road will deliver 47 residential apartments (including five affordable rental units) alongside a 600-seat Curzon cinema on ground and basement levels, a “large” pub (in the same location as the existing Trafalgar), a rooftop bar, upgraded retail units and some office space. The Waitrose at No.196 will stay open with “business as usual” for the duration of the building works.

Residential units will comprise 16 one-beds and 31 two-beds, occupying 8,258 square metres GEA between them (726 sq m will be affordable units).

The original Art Deco façade of the Gaumont Palace Theatre building – designed in the 1930s by well-known cinema architect William Edward Trent – will be retained and restored; Cadogan says plans by architects PDP London will “introduce the best of modern design in harmony with the heritage surroundings.”

The Gaumont Palace Cinema on the King’s Road, when it opened in 1934
William Edward Trent’s sketch of the King’s Road cinema facade (1930s)

Wates plans to have all the construction jobs done by the end of 2021, with Cadogan aiming to complete internal fit-outs in Q2 2022.

The first six weeks on-site will be spent on general site set-up and enabling works, including the erection of scaffolding and hoardings. Once this has been completed, demolition will start. The first phase of works is due to be completed this Autumn (2018).

This redevelopment has been some years in the making; a planning application which pitched a smaller cinema and the relocation of the Trafalgar Arms went in to RBKC in June 2014 (PP/14/03650), but was rejected at the end of that year. Over 10,000 people signed a petition at the time to keep the cinema big.

Revised plans (PP/15/04338), with the pub in situ and larger cinema, were approved at the end of 2015.

PDP London’s King’s Road elevation of the scheme

The project is a core part of an ambitious five-year £500m construction drive by The Cadogan Estate, which is likely to see around £100m spent this year on 65 sites across Chelsea; around half of that spending, however, is going on just three schemes – including 196-222 King’s Road.

Cadogan’s other ongoing projects include the construction of a new restaurant / cafe in Duke of York Square (due for completion this Autumn); a major new hotel scheme on Sloane Gardens, which will see a Hotel Costes opening in late 2019, and Belmond’s new Cadogan Hotel at 73-74  Sloane Street, which is due to open later this year. The retail reinvention of Pavilion Road is completing around now.