EMD (Granada) Walthamstow
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2009)|
The EMD (Granada) cinema on Hoe Street, Walthamstow, was opened on 15 September 1930. There has been an arts venue on the site for over 100 Years. The original building opened in May 1887 as a meetings and performing arts venue. The (original) cinema was one of the first venues to screen a film in the year of film's birth, 1896. It was made into the area's first full-time cinema in 1906.
In 1930 the Victoria Hall was purchased by Granada Theatres who decided to reinvent the site as a modern 'Super Cinema'. The new cinema (English Heritage Grade II listed) had 2,697 seats and was opened as the Granada Cinema, with flamboyant interior decorations by the Russian stage designer Theodore Komisarjevsky, on 15 September 1930.
The cinema was then refurbished in the 1970s to suit the tastes of the time, but retained the architectural features for which it became famous. The cinema was split up into three cinemas (one before) putting a partition under the circle and halving it, making two smaller cinemas and a large theatre for blockbusters.
In 2003 the cinema was closed and bought by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), but since then the building has been empty due a local campaign against it gaining planning permission.
Local activists are still protesting to this day for the building to be reopened for the purpose it was built; with a decision, made by the local council, expected to be give by spring 2013. The EMD Cinema is the only British venue to have an original Christie theatre organ in situ.
In June 2014, Waltham Forest Council approved funds for the purchase of the building from UKCG with the aim of working with the independent Soho Theatre Company and the Waltham Forest Cinema Trust to turn the site into a mixed entertainment venue and cinema.
- http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/11343106.Funding_approved_for_EMD_cinema_purchase Waltham Forest Guardian (16 July 2014) "Decision by Waltham Forest Council hailed as a major step towards returning the historic venue to the community"