EMD Walthamstow

186 Hoe Street,
London, E17 4QS

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Showing 1 - 25 of 27 comments

philclark on June 5, 2015 at 9:15 am

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God has now sold Waltham Forest’s EMD (formerly Granada) Cinema site, including the adjacent pub (formerly the cinema cafe) and shops, to the Antic Pub Collective as of May 2015. It remains to be seen whether the building will reopen as a cinema, especially with a 9-screen multiplex having recently opened next door. One can hope though!

RichieA70 on January 8, 2014 at 7:26 am

Excellent, thanks Joe.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 7, 2014 at 8:09 pm

This photo of the auditorium of the Granada Theatre was published in the November 1, 1930, issue of the American trade journal Motion Picture News. It was one of several photos illustrating an article on Spanish and Moorish architecture that begins on this page of the magazine, which features another, smaller, photo of the theater.

RichieA70 on May 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

The cinema’s owners UCKG had their 2nd application to convert the building into a church (with some community access) REJECTED unanimously by Waltham Forest Council on 18 May 2011. The church plans to appeal, as they did for their original application in 2003.

Meanwhile a charitable building preservation trust called Waltham Forest Cinema Trust' has been established to buy and restore the building as a full time cinema and live events venue.

See www.walthamforestcinematrust.org
Facebook ‘save our cinema'
Twitter 'save our cinema’

CSWalczak on March 6, 2011 at 12:48 am

According to this blog item, the theater has suffered significant deterioration and damage caused by some squatters that temporarily occupied the theater and from neglect on the part of the church that owns the property. The blog has links to some videos about the theater that include some historical photos as well as one of the flooded main auditorium:
View link

CSWalczak on September 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm

This 2009 article from the BBC has an undated interior picture within it (scroll down): View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm

A set of vintage photographs of the Granada Theatre:
View link

CSWalczak on May 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

An article from 30 March 2010: View link

RichieA70 on August 22, 2009 at 6:06 am

UCKG – the church who have owned the cinema since 2003 (and kept it closed since then) have just submitted a new planning application to convert it into a church.

If Waltham Forest Council approve the plans, the borough loses it’s last and greatest ever cinema. Cinema operators including City Screen/Picturehouse want to buy and restore the building (which happens to be on a site used for entertainment since the 1870’s).

Please visit www.mcguffin.info and ‘Save Walthamstow Cinema’ on Facebook to find out what’s happening and how to object to the plans so we can get this beautiful building returned to the nation as a cinema in Hitchcock’s birthplace.

LondonBessie on June 10, 2009 at 5:25 am

There’s a Facebook group for those trying to get the cinema reopened. A high profile campaign supporting this has attracted support from Sir Mick Jagger, Meera Syal, Tony Robinson and Tony Benn… the Facebook group can be found here: View link

mick123 on March 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Last Cinema
“One of London’s two finest surviving cinemas”
Andrew Gilligan, Evening Standard, 2008
This hidden gem should be reopened
and available to all, but we are
about to lose it forever unless we act NOW!
Come to the Public Meeting
4.30pm, Sunday 29th March 2009
St Mary’s School Hall
Rectory Road, Walthamstow

HowardBHaas on December 3, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Page 12 of brochure linked above.

HowardBHaas on December 3, 2007 at 11:52 am

Stroll down to see another vintage photo of the auditorium (right after the Mayfair Tooting photo):
View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 1, 2007 at 8:31 am

Two vintage photographs of the former Granada Theatre, courtesy of the Cinema Theatre Association archives:
View link

Ian on August 19, 2007 at 7:59 am

Three photos from 1987 here:–

View link

View link

View link

00michelle00 on August 18, 2007 at 2:05 pm

I have fond memories of this cinema – it was, and hopefully still is a unique building. It really angers me that these ‘ravers’ broke in days after the closure and caused damage. They have no consideration for the history and arcitecture of the buildings they wreck, and no thought to how their actions could negatively impact chances to save these buildings.

I loved the foyer – the high ceilings and mirrored walls. And the main screen – wow! I always got there before the lights went down so i could enjoy the interior. I moved out of london a while ago, and today checked to see what the latest news was….

After all this time – it’s august 2007 now, this situation hasn’t changed.

Anyone have any interior photos? I photograph cinemas but do not have the main screen of the Granada.

woody on September 8, 2006 at 6:26 am

sadly the council have plans for a mulitplex on the neighbouring cleared site above a market/shop complex, which has discouraged cinema operators from taking on the expense of restoring and reopening the Granada, with some imagination the cinema could be the main screen and entrance for this proposed mulitplex as the lobby area is huge.

davidphillips on September 8, 2006 at 6:14 am

The EMD / Granada Walthamstow remains boarded up and bearing a “For Sale/To Rent” sign at present. Local film society The McGuffins are still actively campaigning for it to be saved. See their website at http://www.mcguffin.info/ for info and online petition.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 31, 2005 at 5:31 am

Regardless what the name on the building states from its last operator, this will always be the ‘Granada Theatre’ to lovers of great theatres. Let us hope that 2006 will bring a new life to the building and it re-opens. In the meantime, here is a recent exterior photo of the shuttered building (the centre bay, above the main windows was originally more elaborate and was removed during the war):
View link

MelissaHoskins on June 9, 2005 at 11:32 pm

Please note that the London Borough of Waltham Forest has never owned or sold any share in this cinema.

The opening comment on this page – from Phil Clark – is therefore misleading and must be amended.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 6, 2004 at 5:48 am

Sorry getting cross-eyed here staring at the screen The Finsbury Pary Astoria (Rainbow Theatre) link should be /theaters/1243/

philbass on December 6, 2004 at 5:16 am

Thanks for the update, that is good news and I am pleasantly surprised to hear it when so many fine old cinema buildings are being lost. Let us keep our collective fingers crossed that the cinema does reopen eventually. There are indeed no cinemas in LB Waltham Forest, the nearest probably being Stratford at present (LB Newham) a distance of some 10km.
btw The link shown for the Finsbury Park Astoria (=Rainbow) is incorrect.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 4, 2004 at 10:33 am

First a correction to my Nov 26th posting; I stated at the end of paragraph 3 that ‘the EMD closed in 2001’, this should have read 2003. The EMD Cinema actually closed on Friday 3rd January 2003 with a special gala charity screening of the film “The Smallest Show on Earth” plus organ interlude, and live music on stage. The EMD Cinema had been purchased by the Brazilian based Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) for £2.8million.

My resume of the Granada/EMD wasn’t meant to be a full history of the building but just a brief insight into what has happened there over the years. Of course much can be writen about recent events that have paved the way for the future of the theatre and I will deal with some of them right now.

Within a few days of closing, the theatre was broken into by a group of illegal ‘ravers’ (police numbers estimate around 500). Despite press reports that much damage was done to the interior of the building, it was inspected a few days after the ‘rave’ by the local Waltham Forest Council, Conservation Officer accompanied by the chairman of the Cinema Theatre Association who found damage to be ‘minimal’ in the main auditorium and broken seats, a slashed screen and damage to a couple of mirrors and projection equipment in the smallers screens.

The Conservation Officer and the Cinema Theatre Association are working together to promote a re-use of the building and it is to the credit of Waltham Forrest Council that they insist that the building is retained for entertainment use and not as a church. (The London Borough of Waltham Forest is one of two London Boroughs which currently do not have a cinema operation within their boundries (Lewisham is the other Borough). The UCKG appealed against the Council’s decision to alter change of use and they lost the appeal, a decision which was backed by the Parliamentary Secretary of State for the Arts & Culture.

Being a Grade II Listed building, the current owners (UCKG) are not allowed to remove any fixtures and fittings from the building and as far as is known this has not happened. It was recently reported that the owners had actually made repairs to the building, following concerns after it was put on the ‘buildings at risk’ register by English Heritage and of course they were more than anxious to make the building more secure from intruders after the ‘rave’ had happened.

Waltham Forrest Borough Council have for a while been taking advise on planning an Arts Centre of the Borough and recently favour has swung in the direction of the former Granada/EMD Cinema to be used for this purpose. A few weeks ago, the Council decided to ditch plans for the new Arts Centra and concentrate its attention on buying and refurbishing the existing Granada/EMD. The Council have stated that they would like to come to a mutual agreement for the purchase of the building from UCKG, but might have to resort to a compulsory purchase order. Negotiations are continuing but it could take a long time before the Granada re-opens.

Fact: The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God own many former theatre and cinema buildings around the world. In Los Angeles, CA they operate the former Loews State and the Tower Theater on Broadway, the Granada at Wilmington, CA and the Bay Theater, National City, CA. to name just a few.

Here in the UK they has done a splendid job of restoring the former Astoria Theatre, Finsbury Park in North London. /theaters/1423/