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Culture boost in Walthamstow

by Natalie Vincent Fri 23 March 2018, 12:22 pm

Waltham Forest Council has approved a planning application to restore and reopen the Regal Cinema in Highams Park.

The decision was announced on 20 March and comes a week after the council revealed it would purchase the historic Granada Cinema (also known as the EMD), to create a theatre and comedy venue; this follows the naming of Waltham Forest as the first-ever London Borough of Culture on 27 February.

The Regal development, which is expected to be run by The Rio Cinema, includes two new cinema screens, a cafe and bar, 30 homes and the restoration of the building’s facade and entrance in keeping with the history and heritage of the town centre.

It will be designed by Clear Architects.

Opening in 1911 as the Highams Park Electric Theatre, it closed as a cinema in 1971 and reopened as a bingo hall, followed by a bar and nightclub, before being repossessed and used as offices for security firm TSS.

Simon Miller, Waltham Forest Council's cabinet member for economic growth and high streets, said: “Fresh from our London Borough of Culture win, this demonstrates our commitment to invest in the culture of the borough.

“Breathing life back into the Regal Cinema is part of the council’s wider regeneration plans to develop a quality leisure offer in the north of the borough, strengthening its position as a desirable place to live and visit.”

The restoration of the Regal means there will be three entertainment venues in the borough, including the Empire Cinema as part of The Scene development in Walthamstow’s High Street in 2015.

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