Walthamstow's art deco theatre signals cultural recovery plan post Covid-19

Walthamstow's famous EMD/Granada cinema is to be restored with £25 million of investment and is being seen as a vital step in economic recovery and resilience.

The plans for the venue which has staged artists such as The Beatles, Duke Ellington and the Rolling Stones, include a 950 seat theatre, bar and restaurant, community space and garden terrace. the refurbishment will begin immediately and is expected to complete in Spring 2022, with help from architects Pilbrow & Partners and developer Willmott Dixon interiors.

It is being hoped that through putting this landmark back on the map, Waltham Forest will become a magnet for visitors wanting to experience world-class culture in the borough, helping to boost the evening and night-time economy and support existing businesses.

The development will also provide a number of local jobs and training opportunities both during the restoration and in the new operation. It is projected that the local economic benefit from the theatre will be more than £50 million over 10 years.

The venue will be managed by Soho Theatre, a charity and social enterprise who ordinarily produce and present theatre, comedy, cabaret and much more from its acclaimed central London theatre. The organisation will work with the council which purchased the former cinema in Hoe Street in 2019.

Soho Theatre's wide-ranging programme will be announced towards the end of 2021 and is set to feature some of the biggest names in UK and international comedy as well as an annual pantomime and special events, from music to screenings and performance alongside dedicated community, education and schools programmes.

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