IN THE push to open a nine-screen, 1,200-seat cinema in the heart of Walthamstow next year 2014, the endangered EMD former Granada cinema has not been forgotten.
The sad old lady of Hoe Street E17 4QH is, says one of the campaigners, “very much part of their [Waltham Forest council’s] plans to improve the cultural offer and night time economy”.
“Our plans envisage a mix of live entertainment, cinema, and other activities to bring this building back to life.”
At present the EMD looks far from as good as it does in the photograph above. The building was sold in 2003 to an outfit styling itself Universal Church of The Kingdom of God (UCKG). The grade II-listed building has fallen into dereliction.
The church’s founder, Bishop Edir Macedo, is a billionaire who has been the subject of criminal inquiries.
Atkinson said that the residential, retail, and multiplex cinema development was “separate to our scheme but complementary and we are convinced that the two can work well alongside each other”.
In May this year 2013 the council’s decision to refuse planning permission for UCKG to turn the EMD into a church was upheld by the local government department.
If UKCG does not agree to a sale, the council could issue a compulsory purchase order to buy it. Then the building, which started showing films in 1907, could return to its original role of entertaining the masses. At the time those masses included Alfred Hitchcock, who was born not far away.
David Altheer 121113
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