by Natalie Vincent Mon 19 March 2018, 9:50 am
A historic Grade II-listed cinema that hosted performances by The Beatles and The Who will be purchased by Waltham Forest Council.
A paper confirming the £2.6 million purchase of the former Granada cinema from owner EMD Walthamstow will be passed at a council meeting on 20 March, three weeks after winning the 2019 London Borough of Culture bid.
The building will be redeveloped to create a destination venue, with the council in discussions with West End-based Soho Theatre to operate the 1,000 seat venue; the programme will feature popular UK and international comedians, an annual pantomime, film screenings, and theatre and community education work.
A cabinet report outlining the decision to purchase the site estimated that the renovated venue could add between £34 and £52 million to the local economy over a 10-year period.
With the site works expected to take three years to complete, the council is looking for funders to part finance the renovation of the building from the heritage, arts and regeneration sectors.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: "It's great news that Waltham Forest Council has decided to purchase and renovate this much-loved music and film venue.
"Fresh from their London Borough of Culture victory, this demonstrates Waltham Forest's commitment to invest in the cultural fabric of the area and transform the borough into a cultural hub – a brilliant place for people to work, live and visit."
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