An iconic building where household names such as The Beatles once performed is set to have new life breathed into it after Waltham Forest Council purchases it for £2.6 million.

The former Granada cinema, also known as the EMD, in Walthamstow’s Hoe Street is set to become a 1,000-seat venue to host the biggest names in UK and international comedy, pantomimes, film screenings and more.

The historic Grade II* listed theatre was partially reopened in 2016 as Mirth, Marvel & Maud, a pub and entertainment complex.

It will be brought back to its former glory with the help of Soho Theatre, who will operate the venue, and is expected to add between £34 and £52 million to Walthamstow’s economy over a 10 year period.

Renovation of the site is expected to take three years and the council is considering options to part finance it with external grants. The borough was awarded £1.35 million as 2019 Borough of Culture, announced last month.

Waltham Forest Council Leader, Clare Coghill, said the move will be a “major boost to the long-term economy, making the area a magnet for people across London to visit and enjoy”.

She added: “This is fantastic news for Waltham Forest and is an investment in our borough’s increasingly important cultural economy which has doubled in the last five years.”

Soho Theatre has worked with students in the borough since 2013 and will be looking to work with artists and musicians as the plans come to fruition.

Steve Marmion, Artistic Director Soho Theatre said: “When we get the keys, we will fill this fantastic building with a 21st century vision of cine-variety, bringing the best in comedy, cabaret, theatre, screenings and special events to your stages, foyers and spaces.”

Comedian Dara O’Briain, Trustee of the Theatres Trust, said: “The Trust has been working with Soho Theatre and Waltham Forest Council to help bring this theatre back to life and it is fantastic to hear that it will finally be fully restored and reopened for audiences from Walthamstow and beyond.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan welcomed the news and said the council’s investment “just adds to Waltham Forest’s cultural infrastructure as the first ever London Borough of Culture.

The purchase from EMD Walthamstow LLP is expected to be passed by councillors on Tuesday, March 20.

The venue first opened as an entertainment complex in 1887 when the Victoria Music Hall was established. For 20 years it was at the heart of Walthamstow’s social scene with dances, concerts and plays.

The first film was screened at the Victoria in 1896 and the building was converted to the area’s first dedicated cinema in 1907.