For years this historic cinema has remained an eyesore for locals, lying abandoned and unloved.

But this may all change as plans are in motion to restore Highams Park’s famous Regal building with the help of independent cinema chain Curzon.

In a letter to Highams Park Forum (HPF), architect Melanie Clear said she was “delighted” to announce her plans to create a three-screen arthouse cinema, a restaurant and 34 flats.

She said: “It is a beautiful design that makes reference and homage back to the original Regal building which we feel is vitally important.

“We are still working up the final designs ahead of the planning submission in September however will be holding a public consultation in August.”

Outside the old cinema a hoarding is now advertising a public consultation on Monday, August 21, at Hale End Library.

The architect also said she will be revealing her presentation material ahead of the public viewing on Friday, August 19.

Ms Clear added: “We are truly excited to be involved in such a scheme that we hope will bring further prosperity to Highams Park.”

HPF chairman Oliver Shykles believes it is an “absolutely fantastic idea”

He said: “It will be great for the community.”

“It will be an arthouse cinema and people travel to go to these types of cinema.

“People will start coming to Highams Park for its nightlife.”

Mr Shykles admitted that Highams Park has never been place people recognise.

He said: “They either know Chingford or they know Walthamstow. But it will turn Highams Park into somewhere people want to go.

“It is also going to be so good for local businesses.

“There has been a real resurgence recently and we are getting a lot more footfall in the area.

“We have so few empty shops and rents are going through because of it.

“I lived in Highams Park all my life and I’ve seen it go through the upturns and the downturns and I think this a real good opportunity.”

More information on the nature of the flats being proposed, their affordability and parking provision will likely be disclosed at the public consultation.

Currently, the nearest cinema to the Regal is the Walthamstow Empire in The Scene.