Hout Bay will not be getting a cinema complex, at least for the foreseeable future.
There has been some speculation on social media that ongoing construction above and alongside the Checkers at the Hout Bay Shopping Centre was intended for a movie house in the vein of the Labia Theatre in the Cape Town CBD.
However, sources this week confirmed the construction was solely intended to make cosmetic changes to the shopping centre, while Checkers would be making use of the space vacated by the Valley Church.
On Facebook, some residents hoped that a cinema would be established, as it would be “another reason never to leave Hout Bay”.
Andre Mouton, of the Amrichprop Real Estate Group, which owns the centre, said the project had two components.
“The first is the upgrade and refurbishment of the Checkers. Checkers will now use the space previously occupied by the Valley Church for storage, allowing for a larger trading space. At a later stage, the inside of the Checkers will be stripped out to allow for a new store design.
There will also be a reconfiguring of the entry and exit points,” Mr Mouton said.
“The second component involves upgrading the façades of the rest of the centre.”
Pastor Grant Baston said Valley Church had vacated its premises above the Checkers at the end of February.
“We had prior to this been tenants at Checkers for about 15 years. About three years ago we were informed by the agent for the centre that our lease which had fallen due would not be renewed as Checkers wished to take over our space,” he said.
“We had since that time been operating on a month-to-month basis. Prior to this notice from the agent, we had purchased the last remaining piece of the Kronendal farm land between the (Hout Bay) International School and the flower sellers, oppo- site Katimas, with a view to building a new church campus. Unfortunately, the process of rezoning and sub-dividing the land took far longer than we anticipated.
“We have now, however, obtained all the necessary approvals from the council and we will hopefully break ground in the next few months.”
In the interim, Ambleside School and Shoreline Church, which meet at Ambleside School, have allowed Valley Church to relocate to their premises and conduct an early morning service that starts at 8.15am.