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Wednesday, 12 September, 2001, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
Historic cinema reopens
Himalaya Palace Cinema
The Southall cinema spent some of its life as a market
A historic cinema, which was badly damaged by a fire, is reopening in London to show Bollywood and Hollywood films.

The Himalaya Palace in Southall is a grade two listed building which has been restored to its former state.

Surjit Pandher, a local businessman, bought the cinema when it was the Liberty Market.

He wanted to convert it back into the cinema he had known as a young man.

Ceremonial opening

The Chinese façade, the terracotta dragons and scarlet pagoda roofs are striking enough to stop passers-by in their tracks.

The building was an early work of the pre-war cinema architect George Coles and resembles the famous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

Coles said that his building "should inspire the mind with the romance that is associated with an ancient culture of far and distant lands".

The cinema, built in 1928, has spent part of its life as a market.

There will be a ceremonial opening on Wednesday evening attended by the Indian High Commissioner and members of the local Indian community.

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