THE DEMOLITION of Lichfield’s former Regal Cinema building, which has for years been considered a city centre “eyesore”, begins tomorrow.
Machinery arrived on-site today and the rear of the building facing Cross Keys has been fenced off.
Mr Richard McGarry of by PBM Contractors Ltd told the Mercury: “The listed facade is staying but the rest of the building is coming down.
“We will be on site conservatively for between 4 to 6 weeks.”
The Art Deco style building in Tamworth Street has been lying empty for more than ten years.
During that time the once handsome frontage has deteriorated, vegetation has grown from the windows and it has become increasingly shabby to the frustration of many Lichfield citizens.
The building originally opened as a cinema in 1932 and operated for more than four decades until it closed in 1974.
It reopened a few years later as a Kwik Save supermarket. In July 2007 the national retailer went into administration and its Lichfield store closed.
There have been numerous development plans attached to the site since then including hotels and restaurants which came to nothing.
The latest plan, which was approved in February last year, was for the demolition of the building, the retention of the 1930s facade and construction of 38 apartments and a shop unit.