Theatres Trust, the charity that campaigns to protect the UK’s theatres, has this month announced that it’s removed the magnificent Grade II* listed building – reopening next year after extensive restoration work as Soho Theatre Walthamstow – from its Theatres at Risk Register.
The Theatres at Risk Register, which has been running for 17 years, calls attention to important theatre buildings, their challenges, and the cultural opportunities they bring to local communities. Since the list began, more than 80 theatres have been restored, revived or rebuilt. Soho Theatre Walthamstow is one of only three buildings removed from the risk register this year.
Built in 1930 by architect Cecil Aubrey Masey with interior decoration by Theodore Komisarjevsky, the Walthamstow venue opened as the Granada, a ciné-variety theatre. Thirty years later it transformed into a live music venue hosting scores of famous acts including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash and The Ronettes, before becoming a cinema and renamed as the EMD. The cinema closed in 2003 and the building was bought by a group who planned to turn it into a church. The local community and Theatres Trust objected, on the grounds that the borough would lose its only working theatre and access to entertainment, the purpose for which the building was originally intended.
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See where we're up to refurbishing the old Walthamstow Granada into a state-of-the-art 21st century comedy venue in the heart of the Waltham Forest community - Soho Theatre Walthamstow.