Structural assessment of dilapidated former Astor Cinema needed – city engineer

A structural assessment of the dilapidated former Astor Cinema would have to be carried out before the Mayor and City Council takes action to have the building demolished, Chief City Engineer Colvern Venture said.

Venture in a brief interview with this publication said the assessment would determine whether the building was a hazard to the public or not.

“We have to see if it is a life-and-limb situation. We cannot just go and demolish a building like that. We would also have to write to the owners informing them of the findings from the assessment before we move forward,” the city engineer explained.

The once popular Astor Cinema today (Photo by Keno George)

The city, in October 2016 paused its campaign to pull down derelict buildings across the city stating that it would like to for further engage occupants and owners. The campaign had started in September 2016.

The famous Astor Cinema building located at Church and Waterloo streets had been abandoned since its closure in April 2013. Stabroek News had reported that the 1940s Georgetown old-style movie house dropped its curtains after its operations were no longer profitable. It was the last city cinema to close. The Globe, Metropole, Plaza and Strand cinemas, all in central Georgetown had long been out of commission along with the Star in Albouystown and two others in the Kitty area.

Not long after its closure, Astor ended up on the real estate market. According to sources, the building was purchased by a local developer who owns several properties around the central business district.

 

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