News and Views from Bennetts

Case studies | 14 December 2022

Bennetts Cranes provides heavy lifting for residential development at unique Art Deco cinema site

Bennetts Cranes is proud to be providing heavy lifting for a residential development that involves converting an Art Deco cinema into a unique residential development, whilst preserving the original façade of the building.  

The development in Harrow will see the former Safari Cinema, first opened in 1936, re-developed into an apartment block and associated commercial units. At the same time, the original Art Deco façade, that was until recently covered in metal cladding, needs to be revealed and preserved. The careful preservation of the front of the cinema, whilst building new properties behind it, requires careful lift planning and operations. 

Bennetts Cranes installed a Jost 108 luffing jib tower crane with a 42m tower, 40m jib, and a 2.5-tonne load capacity in February this year. The crane is ideal for this project as it’s adaptable, agile, and limits the risk of catching the building. Careful consideration was given to the position of the crane on site, again to minimise risk of damage to the cinema. The crane will stay on site for a further two years.    

The Safari Cinema first opened in 1936 as ‘The Dominion Cinema’ – a beautiful Art Deco building that could seat up to 2,500 people including stalls and circles. The first film to ever be shown was the 1935 version of ‘Scrooge’.   

In 1962, the cinema was bought by the Associated British Cinemas (ABC) who covered the building’s Art Deco features in an attempt to modernise its frontage. In recent years, the cinema was well-known for specialising in Bollywood films and was even used as a bingo hall and a church.   

The new development will consist of 78 residential units, an arthouse cinema, a café, and parking.  

Bennetts Cranes has an extensive and modern fleet of luffing jib, saddle jib, and remotely-controlled cranes. Our team of experts can help find the right lifting solution for the most complex of projects. 

Read more about the history of the building here.

Read more news from Bennetts Cranes here. 

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