No proper disabled access for eight months at Empire Cinema in Bromley

​Vanessa Stimpson

​Vanessa Stimpson

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A disabled woman has been unable since Christmas to use the entrance of a Bromley cinema because of a broken lift.

Vanessa Stimpson, 46, has been in a wheelchair for more than 15 years and says going to the movies is one of her favourite pursuits.

But for around eight months the disabled access at Bromley’s Empire Cinema has been broken, forcing Miss Stimpson and her carer Natalie Colgan to have to use a side door.

She says she knows technology can go wrong but having to wheel around a dark alley, over pot holes and through litter, for so long is wearing her down.

She told News Shopper: “It’s been like this for December. I love films and going to the pictures, it’s one of my favourite things to do, but I can’t use the front door with everyone else.

“I have to go through all these pot holes to get in. There’s lots of rubbish and going in the evening means it’s very dark too.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m some victim. I’m just a bit upset about it – it’s been about eight months not working. It’s ridiculous.”

Miss Stimpson, from Keston, said she feels the situation has dragged on and the cinema has not given her a proper response.

She added: “I’ve complained to the cinema but I feel a bit like they’ve fobbed me off. It’s not just me – anyone in a wheelchair must have to do the same thing.

“I’m not sure why it’s taking so long to be mended.”

News Shopper:

Vanessa Stimpson with carer Natalia Colgan 

Empire Cinema has said it has now discussed the situation with the Bromley branch.

In a statement, a spokesman said: “"We apologise for the inconvenience faced by Mrs Stimpson and would like to assure her that we are doing everything we can to fix the problem.

“We are working with the lift supplier to source parts and rectify the situation as quickly as possible, but understand it has taken much longer than we had hoped.

“The current wheelchair access was only intended as a temporary measure and again we apologise for this."

Comments (1)

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10:55am Fri 22 Aug 14

sunshinerain says...

they wont fork out the money, empire bromley has had its day... when the 2 new cinemas open in Intu and at Westmoreland this will close so they see no reason to pay out now... the place is a dump.
they wont fork out the money, empire bromley has had its day... when the 2 new cinemas open in Intu and at Westmoreland this will close so they see no reason to pay out now... the place is a dump. sunshinerain
  • Score: 1
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