E Point Perfect

Secret Cinema makes bid for Croydon’s former Allders flagship

// Secret Cinema founder Fabien Riggall has filed a licensing application for the former Allders department store in Croydon
// The building, which has been vacant for the past three years, is set to be transformed into a pop-up music, dance and cinema venue

The founder of Secret Cinema has made a bid for the former Allders department store in Croydon town centre.

Croydon Council has received a licensing application from Fabien Riggall, founder of the immersive cinema firm, under the company name Aerodrome Croydon, which seeks to transform the former department store into a pop-up venue for music, dance, theatre and cinema performances, according to Inside Croydon.

The appplication requests permission to sell alcohol until 2am on Saturday and Sunday morning and runs from September 1 until the end of August 2023.

The department store building is now owned by Croydon Council, which acquired the site under a compulsory purchase order.

It had earmarked the building to be part of the Westfield supermall that was due to be built by a joint venture of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson but was scrapped two years ago.

READ MORE: Debenhams stores reinvented: From ‘fun factories’ to student digs

Allders fell into administration in 2005, however, the Croydon store continued to trade until early 2013 after being snapped up by fashion entrepreneur Harold Tillman, former owner of Jaeger.

Since its closure in 2013, it has been used by “a random selection of franchises and other outlets”, according to Inside Croydon.

However, Croydon Council evicted the tenants in 2019 so the building could be used as part of the Westfield development, which was later mothballed.

Since that time the iconic building has stood empty.

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