150904. Cape Town. The old Three Arts building along Main road in Plumstead. Community members have complained about the state of the building and they are urging the City of Cape Town to do something about it. Picture henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Cape Town - In its heyday, the Three Arts Theatre in Plumstead hosted international stars like Tina Turner, The Temptations and Spike Milligan.

It reinvented itself over the years as an ice rink, nursery and more recently a film studio. But residents are complaining it has become an eyesore and is bringing down the look and feel of the suburb.

They have started a petition lobbying for the site to be “radically restored” or “demolished” to make way for a more appropriate and attractive development.

Bob Cork, who started the petition along with Ellen Fedele and other residents, said he looked “onto the squalor every day”.

The petition says: “The 3 Arts Theatre, once the home of top international theatre for Capetonians and visitors in the 60s, 70s and 80s and brainchild of entertainment entrepreneur, Ronnie Quibell, saw stars visiting our city, like Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lucille Starr and Suzi Quattro, and later, Uriah Heep and Deep Purple, to name but a few. Sadly those days have long gone and what’s left is a derelict site with a huge block of a building in a state of total disrepair.”

Quibell, who died in 2011 aged 88, built the theatre, which opened in 1964.

His son, Stephen, said the building would not be demolished as it was his father’s legacy.

He added that the family was interested in developing the complex but the time was not right.

Ward councillor Carol Bew said the Three Arts was part of Plumstead and had been there “forever”.

Bew said that being private property, the council couldn’t interfere unless it was a health hazard.

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Cape Argus