Heritage FAQ 



Waltham Forest Cinema Trust is a local company formed in December 2010. Its aims are to purchase, restore and re-open the former Granada cinema in Hoe Street, Walthamstow to the general public. It is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity (no.1144168).


Registered in Waltham Forest, the Trust's founding directors have strong links to the local community, excellent fundraising experience and a track record of delivering similar projects.


The Trust is chaired by former MP Neil Gerrard and includes local residents James Atkinson, Development Director, Soho Theatre; Mark Godfrey, Executive Director, Soho Theatre; Bill Hodgson, McGuffin Film Society; Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director, Birmingham Rep; and Toby Stone, great nephew of Sidney Bernstein, the founder of Granada cinema chain.


In summer 2010, Waltham Forest Council commissioned Locum Consulting to investigate the viability of the former Granada cinema as an entertainment venue. Inspired by that report, the Trust's founders looked afresh at how a venue on that scale could operate today when most cinemas have smaller capacities, modern facilities and are multi-screen. The programme mix gave an answer which, in fact, harked back to the venue's heyday.


By April 2011 the Trust had produced a document outlining their vision. At a time when public funding is extremely scarce, both Arts Council England and Waltham Forest Council found this compelling enough to take the necessary leap of faith to fund the next stage to test feasibility.


This led to the appointment of Ian Ritchie Architects Limited to create the scheme, and a highly experienced team of arts consultants and industry experts to assess the business model. The consultancy team are Bryan Savery, Richard Oyarzabal, and Graham Devlin OBE.


Waltham Forest Cinema Trust is supported by Soho Theatre, a key partner in this project. Soho Theatre has experience of successfully delivering an 11m capital project, and is a leading player in the comedy market with extensive industry contacts. By bringing its management and programming expertise to this project, Soho Theatre can help provide high quality live entertainment very cost effectively.


Subject to further negotiation, other partners in this project could include:


Curzon Cinemas

London's leading independent cinema company could programme three cinema screens equipped with the latest digital technology.


Royal Shakespeare Company

One of the world's best known theatre companies already works within Waltham Forest and plans to develop more work for young people and schools in the borough.


Blonde to Black Pictures

Sadie Frost's film production company with partner Emma Comley, working with long standing business associate Andrew Green, will develop new film projects, nurture new talent and foster collaborations.


Waltham Forest Cinema Trust is a company limited by guarantee. Company registration no. 7479509 (England and Wales). Registered office: 62 Howard Road, London, E17 4SJ.
Registered Charity no.1144168.

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