Soho Theatre Is Reinventing Walthamstow's Legendary Art Deco Cinema

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 7 months ago
Soho Theatre Is Reinventing Walthamstow's Legendary Art Deco Cinema
Walthamstow Granada in the late 20th century. Image: Soho Theatre

A transformation is underway at the Walthamstow Granada. This Grade II* listed former cinema  — once a favourite haunt of Alfred Hitchcock — is getting a new lease of life as a second venue for Soho Theatre.

The northeast London venue first opened its doors in 1930, and over the decades that followed was often used to host concerts, with the likes of Duke Ellington, Johnny Cash, and the Beatles setting the stage ablaze.

After its closure in 2003, locals spent years campaigning to save this local landmark, beloved for its exquisite art deco-inspired auditorium and as part of London music history. Happily, they succeeded — in 2019 Waltham Forest Council bought the venue, and teamed up with social enterprise Soho Theatre to secure its future.

The Walthamstow Granada foyer in its heyday. Image: Soho Theatre

Restoration work began last October, and the new venue is expected to launch next summer with a series of community-focused events.

Once open, visitors can expect world-class comedy from internationally-renowned performers, as well as the brightest rising stars (Soho Theatre has been a launchpad for some of the most influential writers and performers, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, so it's safe to say that they've got an eye of talent).

The revamped venue will seat around 1000 people — over six times as large as Soho Theatre's Dean Street site — making it one of the largest capacity public buildings in Waltham Forest. Soho Theatre hopes that it will become known as the "standout legacy project of the 2019 London Borough of Culture", as well as "the finest venue for comedy in the UK".

Last Updated 28 June 2021