Heygate Pop-Up Cinema Celebrates Opening Night

Tagged as: 35_percent better_elephant culture environmentalism free_spaces gentrification heygate heygate_cinema heygate_estate heygate_gardens regeneration social_struggles southwark_notes
Neighbourhoods: elephant_and_castle southwark

Around 50 people attended the opening night of the Heygate cinema on Saturday 22nd. The event was hosted by the (provisional) Heygate Residents Association which screened the film ‘Doreen’ made by film-makers David Reeve & Patrick Steel. In the film, Doreen Gee - former Chair of the Tenants & Residents Association - reminisces about the culture of the estate and what went wrong with the regeneration.

Heygate Estate background info
| Better Elephant | Campaign for a sustainable community at the E&C | Southwark Notes



The evening was curated by Jerry Flynn, former estate resident and local campaigner. Doreen and both of the film-makers attended the event, which was followed by an animated discussion around the regeneration and wider housing issues. During the discussion, Doreen - who had originally been a strong propenent of the regeneration - spoke about the broken promises of new homes for residents of the estate and how many were forced into unsuitable accommodation much further afield. She also claimed she had been victimised after speaking out against the regeneration, and that she still hadn't received the statutory £4,000 payment due to her for disturbance costs.

The audience included a number of former Heygate residents and residents from the neighbouring Aylesbury estate, who were treated to a bowl of hot soup and refreshments following the lively discussion.

The film was accompanied by a number of newsclips about the estate (see below) and an excerpt from the film-makers’ new feature-length documentary about the regeneration of the estate (Larry & Janet):


Heygate Pop-Up Cinema Update

Taken from the Elephant's Backside report here:

Three days after the event, four council officers turned up - including Graffiti afficionado Andrew Ashaye [1] - to deliver the above notice. Residents explained that they had taken advice from the fire brigade, and that the structure had been treated with a fire-retardant intumescent coating in conjunction with a full risk-assessment. But council officers insisted that the structure would be broken up and taken away the following day on grounds of health & safety.

Fortunately, residents and members of the Better Elephant group were able to dismantle the pop-up cinema on Wednesday evening before any harm came to it. The cinema will now be 'popped up' on an ad-hoc basis when it is needed. The next filmed to be screened is Michael Wadleigh's 1981 film - 'Wolfen': a cautionary metaphor about real estate speculation, urban gentrification, homeless displacement and all the disturbing human-caused destruction that threatens people’s communities and the ecosystems we all share.

[1] http://heygate.heroku.com/monthly-roundup/offensive-pencils-removed


Nice work, looks like fun.