The abandoned old grade II listed Ladywell bath house is set to be transformed into a luxury cinema - but not by Picturehouse.

The decision to hand the Ladywell Playtower over the cinema chain Curzon Cinema was made last night (November 15) at a Lewisham Council cabinet meeting.

The Lewisham Victorian bath house was finished in 1884 and was one of the first examples of a public swimming pool, but has fallen into disrepair.

Four separate companies submitted plans on what to do with the building to Lewisham Council, with three of them including cinemas.

One of the entrants was Picturehouse, but its application was the subject of a petition with more than 6,000 signatures asking the council to reject it as the cinema company is embroiled in a battle with trade union BECTU over paying London Living Wage.

Curzon Cinema is known for its specialism in art-house films and having bars, restaurants and cafes at its locations.

Curzon’s application, together with developers Guildmore, was for three cinema screens with a total of 220 seats, complete with public events foyer, café, bar and restaurant.

The plans also include 19 to 21 homes which will be sold in part to fund the development of the cinema.

Asides from Picturehouse, the other applications included RJK Properties, who wanted to turn it into a “cultural quarter” with a small cinema, and Goldsmiths University, who wanted to turn it into an arts building.

Lewisham Mayor Steve Bullock said: “Ladywell Playtower has been an iconic Lewisham building for decades.

“We have worked closely with the community to bring this historic building back into use after it was closed in 2004.

“Of the four strong bids we shortlisted I am persuaded that the proposal from Curzon Cinemas is the right one to choose.

“Curzon Cinemas and Guildmore‘s plan will deliver a new three screen 220 seat cinema in the heart of Lewisham by 2020.”