The Theatres Trust is an important national advisory body for the UK’s 2000+ theatres.
They publish an annual list of Theatre buildings at risk, the latest of which contains 31 theatres including 2 new entries.
One of these new entries is our very own EMD/Granada – details here.
They highlight the plight of our cinema by stating:
“Without any use or maintenance, it is believed that the auditorium and stage areas are now in a poor condition. If the auditorium is not brought back into use, there is a strong risk that the auditorium and stage areas will deteriorate further and the venue will be lost permanently to live performance use. In order to avoid this, the London Borough of Waltham Forest has brought Antic London and Soho Theatre together to discuss shared use of the building.”
They go on to say:
“The London Borough of Waltham Forest has been brokering discussions between Antic London and Soho Theatre, with the aspiration of ensuring a shared use of the building. The plan would be for Soho Theatre to deliver a high quality programme of entertainment, alongside a wide-reaching community education programme. “
Read The Theatres Trust full statement here.
So what are Antic, the new owners of the EMD/Granada doing?
Antic state asbestos removal has been ongoing, which when completed will allow other works to take place, including dealing with infestation from pigeons and rodents. Meanwhile, they are working on funding a £5M+ refurbishment of the auditorium and state this part of the building remains at the heart of their plans.
Antic expect to submit a pre-planning application to Waltham Forest Council very soon. If that is deemed to meet many of the council’s concerns, it is expected that a full planning application would follow, available to view in the public domain. We will be asking all supporters to respond to the application once it is available.
Soho Theatre are highly respected in the industry and best placed at enhancing the rich heritage of this grand venue by using it to serve the social, educational and cultural needs of the local and wider community at all levels.
Antic are well regarded in running pubs – but we need to ensure they give Soho Theatre full operational access to get the very best from this huge cinema building. It’s what many people have fought for.
The Theatres Trust have shone a bright spotlight on our cinema and it’s importance to the nation. Let’s hope Antic are listening.
Read a Guardian article on this story here.