Further decay of the former EMD cinema in Hoe Street, Walthamstow

The damaged canopy seen falling from the EMD building in Walthamstow

The damaged canopy seen falling from the EMD building in Walthamstow

First published in Waltham Forest by

ANOTHER part of the former EMD cinema’s front canopy has collapsed, despite assurances that it had been made safe.

No-one was injured when a large section of plaster fell onto Hoe Street in Walthamstow on Saturday night.

A plank of wood studied with nails fell to the pavement from the same canopy on July 22, narrowly missing pedestrians.

The United Church of the Kingdom of God, which purchased the building in 2001, promised the canopy was then secured.

But the McGuffin flim society, which wants to see the building re-opened as a cinema, insist the incidents are evidence that the UCKG is not looking after the listed building.

Spokesman Bill Hodgson said: "The council must ensure steps are now taken to protect both the public and the EMD before something more serious happens."

Workers are currently banned from entering the building without protective clothing and breathing apparatus after repeated warnings over asbestos were ignored.

The UCKG is preparing a planning application to restore the building and covert it into a church and community centre.

Comments (9)

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12:47pm Mon 10 Aug 09

Chrissy B says...

I'm not worried at all if this church takes over the EMD. Have you seen the Rainbow Theatre in North London? They did a fantastic job in restoring it. When I went for a visit, I was gob-smacked. It's beautiful. If they do anything like that with the EMD, they have my thumbs-up.
I'm not worried at all if this church takes over the EMD. Have you seen the Rainbow Theatre in North London? They did a fantastic job in restoring it. When I went for a visit, I was gob-smacked. It's beautiful. If they do anything like that with the EMD, they have my thumbs-up. Chrissy B
  • Score: 0

1:51pm Mon 10 Aug 09

Besska says...

Glad you're not worried Chrissy, guess that's because you live in Swindon and are far away from the falling debris! The UCKG have failed to look after the building in the six years they've owned it. Bits are falling off onto the well used stretch of pavement that the building sits on. The UCKG have the money to maintain it, so why haven't they? It's a disgrace. There's no excuse for this disregard for public safety that the church show. Get them to repair it - and repair it now!
Glad you're not worried Chrissy, guess that's because you live in Swindon and are far away from the falling debris! The UCKG have failed to look after the building in the six years they've owned it. Bits are falling off onto the well used stretch of pavement that the building sits on. The UCKG have the money to maintain it, so why haven't they? It's a disgrace. There's no excuse for this disregard for public safety that the church show. Get them to repair it - and repair it now! Besska
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Mon 10 Aug 09

Lucifer1 says...

Does anyone else find it strange how all the "supporters" of UCKG seem to live outside of Walthamstow?
Does anyone else find it strange how all the "supporters" of UCKG seem to live outside of Walthamstow? Lucifer1
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Mon 10 Aug 09

Janet1 says...

Chrissy, until the UCKG took it over in 2003, the Granada/EMD didn't need restoration. Up till then, it was a beautifully preserved cinema in a listed building, with one of the few working original cinema organs in the country.

It started decaying from the moment the UCKG took it over and refused to maintain it. They have now allowed it to become a danger.

I don't know what condition the Rainbow was in when the UCKG took it over, but a few years back they had allowed it to deteriorate to the extent that the roof was leaking badly. The UCKG's website was asking for help to repair the Rainbow's roof, despite being a multinational organisation with, in that year, a £6-million turnover.
Chrissy, until the UCKG took it over in 2003, the Granada/EMD didn't need restoration. Up till then, it was a beautifully preserved cinema in a listed building, with one of the few working original cinema organs in the country. It started decaying from the moment the UCKG took it over and refused to maintain it. They have now allowed it to become a danger. I don't know what condition the Rainbow was in when the UCKG took it over, but a few years back they had allowed it to deteriorate to the extent that the roof was leaking badly. The UCKG's website was asking for help to repair the Rainbow's roof, despite being a multinational organisation with, in that year, a £6-million turnover. Janet1
  • Score: 0

4:27pm Mon 10 Aug 09

Touchwood says...

Chrissy B wrote:
I'm not worried at all if this church takes over the EMD. Have you seen the Rainbow Theatre in North London? They did a fantastic job in restoring it. When I went for a visit, I was gob-smacked. It's beautiful. If they do anything like that with the EMD, they have my thumbs-up.
Another outsider talking s**t about a situation totally the responsibility of the LBWF Council!!


[quote][p][bold]Chrissy B[/bold] wrote: I'm not worried at all if this church takes over the EMD. Have you seen the Rainbow Theatre in North London? They did a fantastic job in restoring it. When I went for a visit, I was gob-smacked. It's beautiful. If they do anything like that with the EMD, they have my thumbs-up.[/p][/quote]Another outsider talking s**t about a situation totally the responsibility of the LBWF Council!! Touchwood
  • Score: 0

5:19pm Mon 10 Aug 09

Janet1 says...

Lucifer1 wrote:
Does anyone else find it strange how all the "supporters" of UCKG seem to live outside of Walthamstow?
When the UCKG's plan to turn the cinema into a meeting-hall went to a public inquiry in 2002, the UCKG bussed in loads of its people as "evidence" that it had local support. Some of them even knew the name of a Walthamstow street and claimed to live there.

Funny how, when you asked which turning they lived near, they suddenly clammed up!
[quote][p][bold]Lucifer1[/bold] wrote: Does anyone else find it strange how all the "supporters" of UCKG seem to live outside of Walthamstow?[/p][/quote]When the UCKG's plan to turn the cinema into a meeting-hall went to a public inquiry in 2002, the UCKG bussed in loads of its people as "evidence" that it had local support. Some of them even knew the name of a Walthamstow street and claimed to live there. Funny how, when you asked which turning they lived near, they suddenly clammed up! Janet1
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Mon 10 Aug 09

RichieA70 says...

UCKG are a church group, not a firm of restoration specialists! They bought the cinema without having sought planning approval first, and since it was refused they've wilfully let the building rot.
UCKG are a church group, not a firm of restoration specialists! They bought the cinema without having sought planning approval first, and since it was refused they've wilfully let the building rot. RichieA70
  • Score: 0

4:23pm Tue 11 Aug 09

Besska says...

Hi Howard, unfortunately the UCKG have a bad track record in providing cinema facilities of any kind. In Catford, they pushed through their planning application by promising the local council that they would provide a dedicated screening room for the public which would be operated by a cinema operator. Four years on, that room is empty. The promised "intimate upmarket cinema" never materialised. The cinema operator they had been talking to walked away as the UCKG apparently became unco-operative as soon as planning permission was granted. At the Rainbow Theatre, they've shown just two films in the whole time they've been resident there despite promising more. And the fact remains that we have no cinema in the whole borough and no prospect of getting one now that the council have publicly admitted that nothing will be built on the Arcade site for at least 3 years...
Hi Howard, unfortunately the UCKG have a bad track record in providing cinema facilities of any kind. In Catford, they pushed through their planning application by promising the local council that they would provide a dedicated screening room for the public which would be operated by a cinema operator. Four years on, that room is empty. The promised "intimate upmarket cinema" never materialised. The cinema operator they had been talking to walked away as the UCKG apparently became unco-operative as soon as planning permission was granted. At the Rainbow Theatre, they've shown just two films in the whole time they've been resident there despite promising more. And the fact remains that we have no cinema in the whole borough and no prospect of getting one now that the council have publicly admitted that nothing will be built on the Arcade site for at least 3 years... Besska
  • Score: 0

4:59pm Wed 12 Aug 09

Georgiestow says...

Its probably not worth doing the front up if that is going to be the main porch to the church door is it? They probably have to light up the cross and render the front anyhow so it will be a waste of dosh to do it up now.
Its probably not worth doing the front up if that is going to be the main porch to the church door is it? They probably have to light up the cross and render the front anyhow so it will be a waste of dosh to do it up now. Georgiestow
  • Score: 0

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