The Woolwich Grand

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Cinema! Theatre! Live Music! At one time all these were available to the residents of Woolwich, but no more. It is our hope to set up an arts centre in the old regal cinema on Wellington Road, previously the N-tyce night club, in order to provide acccess to the arts for the local community. The regal cinema used to be a place of civic pride when it opened in 1955.

A small group of local artists are hoping to run the old cinema as a place for the local community to enjoy – their aspirations for the area have however met with some difficulty, as the Christ Apostolic Church, which already has 10 venues in London, has taken out a lease from the council. The church has apparently agreed to find a way of sharing the cinema space between its prayer meetings, and the group are trying to achieve the backing of the council to return this old cinema to its original function as a civic amenity in an area that has already given over two of its beautiful cinemas to gala bingo and the new wine church (I have to say that the new wine church have done a good job of renovating the old odeon, although I didn’t feel especially welcome when I sauntered in one Saturday afternoon – but access to the magnificent bingo hall is even more difficult).

To this end, the group are staging a public meeting at the cinema on Tuesday the 3rd of May at 6.30pm. This meeting is open to anyone interested in the project:

Cheese and wine will be available, turn up for a chat, a tour, making connections and a chance to hear future plans for the The Woolwich Grand Theatre.

It would be wonderful to be able to get in to one of Woolwich’s glorious old buildings, even better that it would be a real cinema and live performance space for the local community.

The theatre has a website http://www.thewoolwichgrandtheatre.com/ and a facebook page, where more can be found out about what the group are doing at the moment, mainly painting the front doors it seems!

Here is a promo video from 2009, so this is clearly not a new campaign: Greenwich Council have stated clearly their aim of regenerating Woolwich, and let’s hope they support the idea of a local arts centre: