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Plans unveiled to turn Savoy Cinema into Hackney Arts Centre

The Savoy Cinema is set to be refurbished and reopened as Earth, a shortening of Evolutionary Arts Hackney The Savoy Cinema is set to be refurbished and reopened as Earth, a shortening of Evolutionary Arts Hackney
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Plans have been announced to transform a “long-forgotten” art deco cinema in London into a new cultural venue.

The owners of east London venue Village Underground hope to renovate what was originally the Savoy Cinema into the new Hackney Arts Centre. The cinema opened 1936 and was in operation until 1977.

If the plans go ahead, the building, which has been locked up for the past 30 years, will be restored to its former glory.

Three separate spaces – a theatre, a concert hall, and a bar and restaurant area – will be programmed with theatre, lectures and debates, music, comedy, and performance poetry.

The new Hackney Arts Centre will “work with many different communities” in the area and will have an educational programme which focuses on creative activities for young people.

Auro Foxcroft, Village Underground’s founder and director said: “We unearthed a hidden treasure — a dilapidated art deco theatre, locked behind rusted-shut doors for 30 years. It’s incredible that you can still make discoveries like that in today’s London.”

Foxcroft added: “We’ve been working on the project for over a year. We want to breathe life back into this historical building and restore it back to its intended use, a major cultural and community space for Hackney and for London.”

The Savoy Cinema was designed by William R Glen for Associated British Cinemas. After its closure in 1977, the building was converted into two shops with the stalls area transformed into a snooker hall.

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