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Plan for Dreamland signs in Margate to be temporarily replaced for Sam Mendes feature film Lumière


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An iconic sign adorning one of Kent's main visitor attractions could be temporarily replaced for a new feature film by Sam Mendes.

The producer and director, who boasts blockbusters Skyfall, Spectre and 1917 among his films, is using Dreamland in Margate to shoot his next movie Lumière (Empire of Light).

How Dreamland will look with the temporary signs. Picture: Kemp London/Lumière
How Dreamland will look with the temporary signs. Picture: Kemp London/Lumière

Already a 20,000 sq ft sound stage has been installed on part of the theme park site and now planning applications have been submitted to Thanet council for temporary changes to the former cinema on the seafront.

This includes removing the large Dreamland signs and replacing them with the words Empire Cinema until May 15, when the park's original lettering will be reinstated.

A readograph cinema lightbox could also be installed along the front of the building as well as three runs of neon strips.

Permission is also being sough to create a temporary ticket kiosk and doors at the front of the building for the film, which is a love story set in an old cinema.

"The proposed works include a series of temporary installations both externally and internally, which are being proposed as part of a film set for an upcoming feature film, part of which will be filmed in the Dreamland cinema building," the applicant said.

How Dreamland will look with the temporary signs. Picture: Kemp London/Lumière
How Dreamland will look with the temporary signs. Picture: Kemp London/Lumière

"In general, the applications seek consent for temporary alterations, in that everything that is proposed as part of this process will be removed, with any fixing points into the building made good and reinstated to their previous condition, once filming is complete.

"It should be noted that the team who will be installing the temporary works are highly experienced in working with buildings of historic interest, and have successfully installed and removed similar temporary schedules of works on a variety of heritage assets, including a number of stately homes."

The film will star The Crown's Olivia Coleman, Love Actually actor Colin Firth and Star Wars actress Crystal Clarke, with filming due to start next month.

Michael Ward, who plays Jamie in Netflix hit Top Boy, part of which was filmed in Thanet, is also starring in the new film.

Lumière will be Mendes' first solo outing as screenwriter.

The planning applications have yet to be approved.

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