3 quick things to help save the Granada this Christmas…

Right now, the buyer of our cinema, pub chain Antic London, is drawing up plans for the building. But we’re worried their plans boil down to mostly a pub with a side order of “quirky entertainment” (their words). That’s not what so many of us in Walthamstow fought so long and hard for.

Soho Theatre’s plans with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust are for a building that provides a wide range of uses for the widest appeal. We urgently need your help to make sure Antic works with Soho Theatre and doesn’t ‘go it alone’ with plans that don’t do justice to a building that could draw people to Walthamstow from far and wide. We also need your help to make sure that the council understands, now the Empire cinema has opened next door, how much we still want the Granada for film and live entertainment. So…

1. On Twitter? Please tweet this!

The Xmas present we all want? @sohotheatre at the #Walthamstow Granada! @antic_London @lbwfdemocracy http://youtu.be/x3GT1i46fYo Please RT

2. On Facebook? Please post this!

Please post to Antic’s Facebook wall https://www.facebook.com/antic.London or say something similar in your own words…

Getting the EMD/Granada cinema on Hoe Street back into true entertainment use is the best Christmas present you could give Walthamstow. And that means more than opening an Antic pub. It means working with the Soho Theatre too http://www.sohotheatre.com/walthamstow/

As anyone who has followed the campaign to save the Granada knows, Walthamstow cares not just about the Grade II* listed building, but about seeing it brought back as a leading entertainment venue. That’s why the council and Soho Theatre’s vision for the space was so widely supported. And why anything less will be opposed.

Antic and Soho working together is the perfect answer – so get talking!

3. And finally… please send two quick emails!

We’ve drafted emails to Antic and the council leader - just click on the links below to send them as they are. But your email will be even more effective if you add your own experience and personal feelings. Please be polite though – we want these guys to love Walthamstow! And please remember to stick your name and address at the bottom, we’re doing this to show the strength of local support for Soho Theatre’s plans.

Click here to email Antic head honcho Anthony Thomas then add your name, address and anything else you want to say in your own words.

And click here to email council leader Chris Robbins again please add your name, address and your own comments.

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A message to our supporters

Save Walthamstow Cinema have met Trustees and Directors of Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT) and Soho Theatre to discuss news of the sale of the EMD/Granada to Antic pub company.

WFCT/Soho Theatre have already announced that they have met Antic and that their first meeting was positive and productive. Their aspirations, which we hope are fully shared by the Council, is that a collaboration between Antic and WFCT/ST can bring about our long-term plans for returning the Granada to life. The key, of course, is that there is genuine entertainment use and full community engagement within those plans.

It is early days and Antic’s plans are yet to be fully established, however we can confirm that The Victoria bar, and shops below are under the same ownership as the main cinema building itself.

Antic have released a short statement here which explains that they have yet to raise the finance to complete on the deal and put the necessary investment into the building. Their proposals to change the use of any part of the building will require full planning approval.

It is thanks to the support of thousands of people over the years that WFCT and Soho Theatre’s plans could be made a reality. Antic would not have been able to secure agreement on a purchase if UCKG’s church plans had been granted. It is worth noting that the building would have had a much higher commercial value if it had been granted planning to become a church. This means that Antic have got a bargain based on the community’s campaign and the very considerable public and charitable funding that has been put into developing the viable architectural and business plans which led to a rejection of Church use.

We aim to make the new owners fully aware of this and are hopeful that we can work together towards a genuine entertainment and community engagement alongside a popular and profitable Antic pub.

We will let you know how your support can make a difference in future weeks.

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Sale of cinema

Soho Theatre have released this statement confirming that Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) have sold the cinema.

We hope and will encourage the new owners to work with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust, Soho Theatre and Waltham Forest Council in making our long-term ambitions to revive this building for cinema & live entertainment use come true.

Further updates will follow.


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Sign up to cinema updates from Soho Theatre!

Hear the the latest news on Soho Theatre’s work with the Walthamstow community

and their progress with reviving the cinema as a five star entertainment venue.

Subscribe to their monthly newsletters here.

Ownership and Planning news

We’re pleased to confirm that Soho Theatre and Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

are working on a planning application to be submitted to Waltham Forest Council in due course, both as part of either a negotiated sale of the building from the UCKG or a Compulsory Purchase (CPO),  the latter of which has been authorised by Waltham Forest Council should negotiations fail.


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Soho Theatre at Walthamstow Village Festival – 2 August

Waltham Forest Council have published minutes of the historic meeting at Walthamstow School for Girls which will provide funding to purchase the EMD/Granada by negotiated sale or by Compulsory Purchase.

Read them here

Meet Soho Theatre in Walthamstow!
Soho Theatre will have a stall at the
Walthamstow Village Festival on Saturday 2nd August
and will be on hand to answer any questions about the former Granada, and to talk about their workshops and opportunities for young people,
which they’ll be bringing to Walthamstow over the coming months.

The festival runs from 1pm – 6pm and the stall will be on Orford Road.

You can also see more information about Soho Theatre’s plans here 

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A huge leap forward for our cinema dream!

We’re delighted to confirm that Waltham Forest Council have approved funding for a Compulsory Purchase or negotiated sale of the EMD/Granada cinema from current owners, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).

At a packed meeting at Walthamstow School for Girls, Council Leader Cllr Chris Robbins introduced proceedings by confirming UCKG’s Pastor Paul Hill and directors of Soho Theatre Company were present.

As portfolio holder for Economic Growth & High Streets,
Cllr Clare Coghill quoted sections from this document, requesting council approval to help fund a purchase of the cinema by
Soho Theatre Company for Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT).

Speeches confirming the long and passionate campaign lead by local residents came from former Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard, Cllr Coghill and Deputy Leader Cllr Clyde Loakes, who said the council has changed considerably since the EMD’s closure in 2003, and understands the building’s true value not just to Waltham Forest, but London and beyond.

Steve Marmion, Creative Director of Soho Theatre Company spelled out his company’s exciting commitment to return the cinema to its original role as a modern day cine-variety venue as detailed below.

A message from Soho Theatre Company & Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

A big thank you to everyone at the McGuffin Film Society and Save Walthamstow Cinema

As you know, Waltham Forest Council last night agreed to provide financial support to help Soho Theatre purchase the former Granada building from its current owners, as well as taking significant further steps towards the Compulsory Purchase should negotiations fail.  Working closely with the local community, we plan to re-open the original auditorium as a thriving venue for comedy, theatre and film, together with three new cinema screens, an education space and a cafe, restaurant and bar.

We wanted to thank all the supporters who have campaigned so hard for this amazing building. We are delighted to be working closely with the Council and grateful for their support, and while we’re still at an early stage, we hope that it won’t be too long before we can come together and properly celebrate the re-opening of the Granada.

Meantime, we have outlined our vision for the building at www.sohotheatre.com/walthamstow and we would very much welcome your feedback, thoughts and suggestions as we move forward.

Steve Marmion and Mark GodfreySoho Theatre,
and Neil Gerrard, Waltham Forest Cinema Trust

When could the cinema finally re-open?

The million dollar question! Possibly within 2 years, should the longer process of a CPO be required. Whichever way ownership is transferred, Soho Theatre/WFCT plan to revive the cinema in phased stages.

Could a CPO fail?

There is no guarantee it would be successful, however rejection of UCKG’s plans at local and national level and the commitment of both Waltham Forest Council and Soho Theatre company should give confidence that the risk of failure is low.

Read the Waltham Forest Guardian article here

The council received significant backing for a CPO/negotiated sale so thanks to everyone who showed their support!



Supporters gather after the historic meeting



Cllrs & WFCT Trustees watch Council Leader Chris Robbins shake hands with Soho Theatre’s Steve Marmion.

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Compulsory Purchase meeting – how you can attend

Waltham Forest Council Cabinet members will vote on whether to proceed with a Compulsory Purchase of the EMD/Granada cinema
at a meeting on:

Tuesday 15th July at 6.30pm at
Walthamstow School for Girls,
Church Hill,
Walthamstow E17 9RZ.

Open to the public, entry via school reception main entrance. Please aim to arrive from 6pm.
Other topics will be discussed at the meeting. 

Details here

Please note time & venue change – this was originally to be held at Walthamstow Town Hall from 2pm

The council has clearly changed the time and venue because previous meetings about the cinema’s future have been so heavily attended. So please join us there if you can – and show the council that our community very strongly backs their decision to press ahead with the CPO process.

Please share via social media to spread the word, as we have only just over a week to go!

What’s happening?

Waltham Forest Council Cabinet members will vote on whether to enforce a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), aimed at acquiring the EMD/Granada cinema from current owners, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).

This follows UCKG’s failure to agree a sale of the building after their planning appeals were rejected in May 2013.

A successful CPO will enable ownership of the building to be transferred to Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT), for its revival as a major entertainment venue.

WFCT has established a fully costed business case making a CPO viable.

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Compulsory Purchase & how you can help

Waltham Forest Council Cabinet members will decide on 15th July whether or not to enforce a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO), aimed at acquiring the EMD/Granada cinema from current owners, Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).

Details here

This follows UCKG’s failure to agree a sale of the building after their planning appeals were rejected in May 2013.

A successful CPO will enable ownership of the building to be transferred to Waltham Forest Cinema Trust (WFCT), for its revival as a major entertainment venue.

WFCT has established a fully costed business case making a CPO viable.

Please let the council know you back a CPO by emailing the decision makers. Copy & paste these email addresses:


You can also post your support to:

Sam Neal, Environment and Regeneration, Sycamore House, Town Hall Complex, London E17 4JF

The deadline for comments to the council is 1st July.

Please share & spread the word to help boost a successful CPO.



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Hear about the plans for our cinema!

On Saturday 26th April our friends at Soho Theatre will be at The E List Live event in Walthamstow,  discussing their plans for our cinema, in partnership with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust.

The E List Live is at St. Mary’s Welcome Centre, Church End, Walthamstow Village, from 12-8pm. It’s part of the Eat or Heat Spring Fair.


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Campaign update – March 2014

Since UCKG’s planning Appeal was rejected last May, we have kept in regular contact with Waltham Forest Cinema Trust and the council to find out what is happening, and any ways that supporters can help.

In the last few weeks we have expressed concerns over the lack of news and have asked what condition the EMD/Granada building is currently in. We asked if the Mayor of London has been contacted to assist the cause and if a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) may be carried out as agreed by the council in principle in December 2012 should a negotiated sale with UCKG fail to materialise.

The Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Cllr Chris Robbins stated:

“I can confirm that acquisition of the former EMD Cinema using public funding or CPO powers will be a lengthy process requiring relevant decision making processes and due diligence to be undertaken.

This work is on-going and while it may appear as if little is happening the Council and the Soho Theatre (the lead organisation for the WFCT plans) are meeting regularly to progress this. At this stage we are not involving any other parties such as The Mayor but we have not ruled this out. English Heritage and our Conservation Officer did gain access to the building recently to ensure the building remains wind and weather tight and I can confirm this is still the case.”

We have also received this statement from
Waltham Forest Cinema Trust:

“We do understand that there hasn’t been much news on the building recently, but behind the scenes the Council are being very supportive and things are happening.

Contact has been established with the owners and our preference is still for a negotiated sale rather than the additional cost and delay of a Compulsory Purchase Order for the building.

Soho Theatre, our lead partner, has viable business, architectural and funding plans; they are  working closely and constructively with the Council to take them forward. The plans for the revitalised building are very exciting and we can see both it and the new Arcade development working very well together, and between them transforming this corner of Walthamstow.

As soon as there is more to report, we promise to let you know.”

At present the Trust has not asked individual supporters for help, however it may be useful in the next few months to remind all concerned just how much support there is for reviving this building as a modern day cine-variety theatre – the purpose for which it was built.

We therefore hope that we may be able to count on you in due course.

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