Memories and hopes about our cinema jewel.
As London prepares to welcome back the Olympics in this age of constant access to breaking news on the internet or TV, it’s worth remembering how the people of Walthamstow watched the last London Olympics in 1948, before having a television at home was something we took for granted.
Newsreels were an important part of a trip to the pictures. Amongst the cartoons, serials and full length feature films, the stories people were reading in the newspapers and hearing on the radio came to life on the big screen. The cinema is where the world’s best athletes thrilled and inspired people with their quest for excellence. In Walthamstow, that happened at the Granada.
The stories you’ll see and hear in our Art Trail exhibition are full of vivid memories of the excitement and sheer specialness of going to the EMD / Granada, not just for this window on the real world but also for the luxurious grandeur of this flamboyant cinema, an adventure in itself into imaginary worlds. These real-life stories are sweet, warm and very funny.
The EMD / Granada has been woven into so many people’s lives over the last 80 years that we wanted to capture all those stories. We asked the people of Walthamstow for their own anecdotes and opinions to find out why they care so much about this cinema with its history and pizzazz, a world away from cloned multiplexes. As well as hopes and ideas for the future of our cinema, people have shared stories of childhood matinees and being a Granadier, new romances, big name concerts, trying to get past Uncle Ernie and most of all, the breathtaking splendour and character of this very special cinema.
We’ll have fun things for people to do at our exhibition. While you take in the stories, you can also write your hopes and wishes for the cinema on a postcard or if you’re ready for your close-up, write your own I LOVE WALTHAMSTOW EMD/GRANADA People’s Placard and have your photo taken with it.
Essentially, this is Walthamstow giving our cinema a big warm collective hug. We hope you join in and enjoy this outpouring of respect and affection from the people of Walthamstow for our irreplaceable EMD / Granada cinema. Come along and see for yourself.
On Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September from 10am to 4pm, we’ll be at Walthamstow’s shiny new community centre The Mill, 7 Coppermill Lane, where the High Street meets Blackhorse Road and St James Street (that’s 24 on the Trail Guide map). If you use a wheelchair, The Mill is fully accessible.
On Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September, again from 10am to 4pm, we’re at delightful quirky Daisy’s Café and Gifts, 176 Hoe St, right by the cinema and a five minute walk from Walthamstow Central station (50 on the Trail Guide map).
See you there!