Village Underground owners win approval in major plan to reopen art deco cinema as music venue

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    Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 14:25
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  • We take a behind-the-scenes look at the Hackney Arts Centre, which is set to open in Dalston next year.
  • Village Underground owners win approval in major plan to reopen art deco cinema as music venue image
  • Hackney Council has approved a multi-million pound proposal to turn a derelict art deco cinema in East London into a multipurpose arts and music venue. The council's licensing committee signed off on the plan for the new venue, which is called Hackney Arts Centre, during a meeting on Thursday, July 20th. (The decision was postponed by a month due to discussions with the police.) The team behind East London's Village Underground is behind the venture, which received 428 letters of support and 12 letters of objection. "We're hugely excited for this and for the future of the project as we now have the opportunity to build a world class cultural venue for Hackney and London," Village Underground founder Auro Foxcroft told RA. "It's a testimony to Hackney Council that they support major arts projects in this way, that they believe in their local cultural organisations and ultimately, that they act on the belief that culture and art are fundamental to us all, as individuals and society as a whole. We've already set to work, we're creating something new and beautiful for the cultural life of the city, something that we hope will be treasured for years to come." The art deco building on Stoke Newington Road first opened, as a cinema, in 1936 and screened its final film, Scarface, in 1984. Village Underground want to turn it into a space that offers music, theatre, performance art, lectures, talks and more. Part of the venue is likely to open later this year, with the aim to be fully operational in spring of 2018. The plan includes restoring the centre's façade. It was also revealed on July 20th that Village Underground will receive £600,000 from The Arts Impact Fund to help with the new venue and their work with Community Music, an arts charity that delivers social programmes. Take a behind-the-scenes look at Hackney Arts Centre in our interview with Foxcroft.
    Song credit: Levi Patel feat. Suren Unka - Shelter