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BarbicanTalk, a residents' forum, has generated much discussion about the plan. Some are concerned about the noise and disruption that building work would entail, others query the decision when Cinemas One & Two were extensively redeveloped just a few years ago, and some suspect that this is all down to the opening of Frobisher Crescent: there are concerns about sound leakage from the cinemas into the new apartments, which are directly above.
Should the new screens be built, they will in the long term represent a distinct improvement to the Centre's film output. Grouping three spaces around a newly-built entrance on Beech Street will help give the Barbican's film programme a distinct identity; yet losing two venues for three years, perhaps more, at a time of increased ticket sales and exciting film seasons, is a major blow. As one user on BarbicanTalk puts it: "It would seem that the priority here is property development rather than the provision of a busy and varied film programme".
*This piece originally claimed, incorrectly, that Ben Johnson House is one of the Barbican's three skyscrapers.