City halts demolition of Astor Cinema building

-directs safety measures be put in place

Safety hazard: The standing frame of the Astor Cinema, which is now considered a safety hazard to members of the public due to the stalled dismantling of the building.

The Mayor and City Council has instructed the new owners of the Astor Cinema building to halt demolition until they put safety measures in place to protect both workers and members of the public.

City Engineer Colvern Venture told Stabroek News that his office was forced to write the owners after permission was not sought for the demolition. He added that the new owners, who also own the Discount Store on Regent Street, subsequently applied to demolish the building and the application was approved. Venture said the application was fast-tracked, since just the structural frame is standing and it poses a risk to passersby.

Watch: The Demolition of Astor

However, he explained that his office has recommended that safety measures be put in place to protect workers and members of the public before demolition continues.

Stabroek News understands that the council had also instructed the owners to remove debris that was placed on the public road since it is a hazard to road users.

No work was being carried out at the site yesterday and loads of debris were awaiting removal.

It is unclear when the demolition would resume and efforts to contact the owners were unsuccessful.

In the last week of July, workers began to dismantle the building. The once popular Astor Cinema had been abandoned since its closure in April, 2013. It was the last city cinema to close its doors. The Globe, Empire, Metropole, Plaza and Strand cinemas, all in central Georgetown had long been out of commission along with the Star in Albouystown, and Hollywood and Liberty in the Kitty area.



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