An historic cinema building will be transformed into a 1,000-seat theatre and the council is seeking residents’ views on the plans. The former EMD cinema building on Hoe Street, Walthamstow, was purchased by Waltham Forest Council in partnership with Soho Theatre for £2.6 million in early 2019.
The Grade II listed building, currently known as the Mirth, Marvel and Maud, houses a pub, cinema and cultural centre.
Work has begun to transform the Art-Deco venue into a 1,000-seat theatre and comedy venue.
Cllr Simon Miller, lead member for economic growth and housing development, said: “Once opened, the theatre will be a fantastic addition to the outstanding cultural offer that this borough has, building on our legacy as the first London Borough of Culture.
“It’s contribution to the evening and night-time economy will be significant, making it a destination outside of central London and bringing with it new jobs and opportunities for local people.”
The council says the proposed plans will maintain the building’s appearance and character – initially opened in 1930 as The Granada cinema – and will “respect the heritage and history” of the building.
Buildings on the site have been showing films since 1896; Alfred Hitchcock was known to frequent a cinema on the site in his teenage years.
The current building has also hosted numerous famous concerts, including The Beatles in 1963, Rolling Stones, The Who, James Brown, The Ronettes, Johnny Cash, and Roy Orbison.
A final planning application will be submitted in Spring 2020 and the main refurbishment is expected to start in the summer of 2020 with a completion date of early 2022.