Cumbria

Carlisle's former Lonsdale Cinema sold at auction

The former Lonsdale Cinema in Carlisle
Image caption The former cinema has stood empty since 2006

The dilapidated former Lonsdale Cinema in Carlisle has sold for £630,000 at auction.

The cinema in Warwick Road closed in 2006 and has become an eyesore in the city centre.

It has been bought by Burge Halston, the company which is turning the former post office next door into a hotel.

Having stood empty since its closure, the building had an auction guide price of £550,000.

As well as providing many people with their introduction to the movies, the venue played host to The Beatles and other popstars, but has more recently fallen into disrepair and is riddled with damp and rats.

A previous scheme to turn the building into flats fell through and campaigners' efforts to launch a theatre and arts centre also failed.

City council leader Colin Glover said he was now optimistic about the area's future.

Opening for the first time in September 1931, the art deco building was awarded Grade II listing in 2007, but de-listed in March 2010. In November that year, it was damaged by fire.

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