The Theatres Trust

Granada Theatre

Details

The Granada in Walthamstow has an unusually lively white-painted stucco exterior in Spanish style by Cecil Masey; a large first-floor tea-room to one side now houses a pub with separate entrance. On the other side is a smaller, matching wing under which is an archway entrance to the rear of the building (backstage, get-in etc). The interior decoration was by Komisarjevsky. There is much classical detail in the large foyer, with a flight of stairs each side leading up to the 'Hall of Mirrors' - a flat barrel-vaulted circle lobby. The richly ordered proscenium arch and gilded decorated wall grilles use details from the Palace at Cordoba, overlaid with seventeenth-century Baroque features. The auditorium was designed to seat 2,697. The stage is large as well, and although without flytower, over the years it has hosted pantomimes and music concerts. The stage, dressing rooms and original organ remain and could be used for live entertainment, though the auditorium capacity was reduced in 1973 when the cinema was tripled, with a wall under the balcony to create two small screens in the rear stalls. The 'Hall of Mirrors' and part of the auditorium were stylishly redecorated to original splendour in 1995, and the central kiosk designed to match. The walls of the balcony were reconstructed to give a more intimate finish, which has not taken anything from the original style of the magnificent auditorium. A second organ was installed some years ago. The Granada achieved listed status in February 1987 and is now Grade II*. Following purchase by the Odeon chain in 2000 the cinema was closed and sold to an independent chain, with a restrictive covenant that prevented the showing of English language films. This was overturned in 2001, but the cinema finally closed in 2003 when it was taken over by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. This organisation fought to change the use of the Granada to a church, but lobbying by local residents and the support of the London Borough of Waltham Forest prevented this. In 2014 UCKG sold the building to pub company Antic, which opened a pub in the foyer area in December 2015. In 2016, the former screen 2 was opened as a space for film, music and comedy. There are plans to reopen the main auditorium in the future.


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Exterior Granada Theatre, Walthamstow, London, 2010
© Soho Theatre

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Exterior of the Granada Theatre, Walthamstow, 1961
© Not specified

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  • Other names
    Walthamstow ABC, Cannon, EMD Cinema
  • Events
    • 1928 Owner/Management: Victoria Picture Theatre purchased by Sydeny Bernstein.
    • 1930 - 2003 Use:
    • 1930 Design/Construction: New cinema built on site of Victoria Music Hall.
      • Theodore Komisarjevsky - Interior design
      • Cecil Aubrey Masey - Architect
    • 1930 Owner/Management: Granada
    • 1973 Alteration: tripled
    • 1989 Owner/Management: Cannon Group, later Virgin.
    • 1995 Alteration: foyers and part of auditorium restored and redecorated, balcony reduced.
    • 1996 Owner/Management: ABC, later Odeon Theatres Ltd.
    • 2000 Owner/Management: Sold to an independent operator.
    • 2003 Owner/Management: UCKG - United Church of the Kingdom of God.
    • 2014 Owner/Management: Antic, owner, continuing
  • Capacities
    • Original: 2697
  • Listings
    • Grade II*
  • Stage type
    • Pros flat
  • Dimensions
    • Orchestra pit: Original

Of the period

Façade of the Arts Theatre
Arts Theatre (London)
London

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