Mirth, Marvel and Maud

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Mirth, Marvel and Maud
Mirth, Marvel and Maud - exterior.jpg
Former names
  • Walthamstow Granada
  • Walthamstow EMD
  • ABC Cinema
General information
Address 186 Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 4QH
Town or city Walthamstow
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated 1987
Reference no. 1065590[1]

Mirth, Marvel and Maud (previously known as Granada Cinema, Walthamstow EMD, MGM Cinema and ABC Cinema) is a Grade II listed building housing a pub, cinema and cultural centre in Walthamstow, London. The building is famous for having been frequented by Alfred Hitchcock and for being built on a site where films were shown as early as 1896.[2]


The building in its incarnation as the Granada - lit up with neon signs

In 1930 Granada plc built a 2,697 seat cinema, opened as The Granada. The building featured exteriors by Cecil Masey and interior decorations by Theodore Komisarjevsky.[1]

In later years, as a result of changes in the building's ownership, the cinema was variously known as MGM, ABC, and EMD cinema.[3] Although never completely renovated after the 1970s, at the time of its closure as a cinema in December 2003, it was the only cinema to have an original working Christie Organ still in place at the cinema where it was originally installed.[4]

Often used as a concert venue, the Granada cinema in Hoe Street, Walthamstow held a concert by the Beatles on May 24 1963[5].[6] Other famous musical acts to have performed there include John Coltrane, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly,

Campaign to save building and cinema[edit]

The building, boarded up, during the period of closure.

The cinema closed in 2003 and was purchased by Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) with the intention of converting the building into a church.

Many members of the local community opposed and successfully campaigned against these plans.[7] Comedian and presenter Griff Rhys Jones, actor Paul McGann and writer Alain de Botton are among the famous names to have backed local residents in asking the local authority to stop plans to convert the building into a church.[8]

The Waltham Forest Film Society and Campaign to save our cinema McGuffin[9], was the focal point for local campaigners.

UCKG failed to gain planning permission to convert the building from Waltham Forest Council and later from the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles.[10]

Re-opening of building 2015[edit]

In 2014, UCKG sold the cinema to pub company Antic[10] who re-opened the building as, under the new name of Mirth, Marvel and Maud.

When asked about the new name, Anthony Thomas, the head of Antic said:

We wanted to bring Mirth back to the Foyer, which is in itself a Walthamstow Marvel. My Great Aunt Maud took me to a similar space as a child, hence our chosen name.[2]


  1. ^ a b "ABC CINEMA List Entry Summary". Historic England. 
  2. ^ a b "Hitchcock's Cinema Is Back From The Dead As A Pub". Londonist. December 2015. 
  3. ^ "HISTORY: The story behind Walthamstow's iconic EMD Cinema". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  4. ^ "THE THEATRE ORGAN – PART THREE: PAGE FIVE – THE GRANADA THEATRE WALTHAMSTOW | Stories Of London". stories-of-london.org. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  5. ^ "Live: Granada Cinema, Walthamstow, London". The Beatles Bible. 1963-05-24. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  6. ^ "History: the day The Beatles came to town". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  7. ^ "'Victory' for campaign to save 'Hitchcock' cinema". BBC News. 18 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "WALTHAMSTOW: Celebrities back campaign to save EMD Cinema". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 2017-10-10. 
  9. ^ "McGuffin News". McGuffin News. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  10. ^ a b "Walthamstow Granada cinema sold by church". BBC News. 10 November 2014. 

Coordinates: 51°35′10″N 0°01′12″W / 51.5861°N 0.0199°W / 51.5861; -0.0199