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Permission granted for £45m cinema hotel in Bethnal Green

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Permission granted for £45m cinema hotel in Bethnal Green

A 130-bedroom boutique hotel is to be created on the site of the former Rex Cinema in London’s Bethnal Green.

Planning permission has been granted by Tower Hamlets Council to property developer Southern Grove for creation of the £45m hotel behind a restoration of the property’s original art deco façade. The hotel will feature a single screen cinema, restaurant and roof top bar.

Southern Grove, which specialises in residential developments, is talking to prospective hotel operators and expects the hotel will open as an independent business under the name, the Rex.

Following the launch of the Rex, the company intends to target other hotel and leisure development opportunities in London in a bid to become “a leading provider of small independent hotels in emerging locations”.


Tom Slingsby, managing director of Southern Grove, said: “The Rex will offer a genuinely new format in an already exciting part of town and demonstrates the scale of our ambition.”

The cinema originally opened as Smart’s Picture House in 1913, with an auditorium seating nearly 900. It was rebuilt with an art deco façade by cinema architect George Coles in 1938 and became the Rex cinema until 1949 when it was bought by the Essoldo chain. The cinema eventually closed to the public in 1967.

Work is expected to begin on the development in January 2018, with a view to the hotel opening two years later.

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