STOURBRIDGE could get its very own cinema for the first time since the 1980s.

An application has been made by Film Associates Ltd to Dudley Council's licensing committee for a premises licence for a Stourbridge Cinema at 1-3 The Ryemarket - the long-derelict unit which was previously home to Chicago's and later the Soda Lounge.

The emptiness of the unit, where Stourbridge footballer Ryan Passey was tragically stabbed to death in August 2017, has long cast a shadow over the town.

This new plan, however, could breathe new life into the venue.

Ryan's family are said to be supportive of the proposal for the former bar to become a cinema.

No further information about the proposed project, however, has been revealed at this stage and The Ryemarket has not yet commented on any future plans for the unit which has been vacant since 2020 - just before the pandemic hit.

The application to serve alcohol at the venue was due to be approved by Dudley Council's licensing chiefs this week, as no objections to the proposal have been received, a council spokesman confirmed.

It seeks permission for the sale of alcohol between 9am and 3pm - Monday to Sunday, to allow entertainment to be provided when the premises are open for the sale of alcohol (with any live music restricted until midnight) and to enable provision of late night refreshments between 11pm and 3am - Monday to Saturday.

Stourbridge's last cinema - The ABC (formerly The Scala) in Lower High Street - closed in 1982. It was the last of the town's four cinemas to close.

In the heyday of movie-going there were also picture houses in Stourbridge High Street (the Odeon which closed in 1973), Hagley Road (the Danilo - which closed in 1963 and was demolished last year) and off New Road (The Kings Hall/later Kings Super Cinema - which closed in 1957).