The wonderful site savewalthamstowcinema.org has been helping fight a battle, along with many others including the McGuffin Film and Television Society, which has been raging on for over 7 years to save our stunning and historically rich EMD Granda Cinema. The building has been in the middle of a bitter fight to save its existence after being bought by the Universal Church of The Kingdom of God (UCKG) way back in 2003. Check out their site for excellent coverage of all the ups and downs of the long battle to get the listed cinema back to showing films again.
There are other wonderful articles on their site about the past and fabulous history of the venue, a place where Alfred Hitchcock was rumored to have attended and also where The Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Scott Walker, The Who, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison all performed.
And so to further raise the profile of this excellent cause and to help dig out some old memories of previous visitors to the famous venue, Save Walthamstow Cinema wants you to submit your stories, tales and memories of your time at the Cinema so they can be shared and treasured as part of the E17 Art Trail.
See below for a run down of the idea or visit their site for more details, printable flyer and stories.
A fantastic new project has begun that will gather and preserve the innumerable stories and memories that people, especially local people, have of the building. Whether it was then the EMD, the Granada or the ABC, the Storytelling project seeks written or recorded voxpops of your opinions and personal anecdotes, as well as photos, music and drawings. If you have special memories of childhood matinees, first dates, first kiss(!), wild nights at concerts or just a warm feeling about the place, please get in touch.
Your stories and pictures can be emailed to email@example.com or sent by post to Save Walthamstow Cinema, 39-41 High St, London E17 7AD.
For more details about the project see the SWC Facebook page. Regular updates will also be posted on Twitter.
I for one have many fond memories of going to the Cinema with fellow Heyuguys writer and founder of the site Jon Lyus. We saw many films throughout our early years with close friends and for me some of my favorite personal memories were in 1982 having to choose between ET or Tron and choosing to see Tron with my father whilst my Sister chose ET with my mother, I loved sharing stories with my sister after wards about the two films and was happy that I chose Light Cycles over a soppy Alien story.
I saw Return of Jedi as a Star Wars obsessed 5 year old and loving every second of it. I fondly remember seeing Dark Crystal and jumping out of my seat when Fizzgig jumped out of the hole, a moment that still haunts me when I watch the film. I saw and was blown away by The Matrix and I sadly also spent four straight days seeing the Phantom Menace because I really really wanted to like it and died a little inside each day I sat through the Lucas childhood destroying abomination developing a sickening addiction to the toffee butterkist popcorn in the process, but at just over £2 a ticket I didn’t feel I put too much in George’s pocket.
This little Cinema in Walthamstow created my love for film, From the age of 3 almost every film I watched at a cinema, I watched in this wonderful memory filled place and it will hopefully be the Cinema I continue to see films in and take my kids to see them in the future.
Please share your memories and be part of E17 Trail.