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news, views and issues around Greenwich, Charlton, Blackheath and Woolwich, south-east London – what you won't read in Greenwich Time

Woolwich Grand Theatre gets go-ahead from council

with 7 comments

A rare bit of good news for Woolwich – plans to convert the old cinema/nightclub building on Wellington Street into an arts centre got planning permission from Greenwich Council last night.

The building’s been empty for a few years following the closure of the N’Tyce club there, which succeeded infamous 80s/90s venue Flamingos (or, as we called it, Flaming Joe’s).

The Woolwich Grand Theatre scheme involves using it as a cinema and theatre, with a weekly arts market each Saturday. Founder and director Adrian Green is hoping to open up with a cafeteria first – although may need to sort out a further licence before he can do this.

I’ve been inside and while many of the old fittings were ripped out during its nightclub days, the plan is to restore the building, which was as an ABC cinema until the 1980s, to its 1950s glory. The old projector’s still there, but for now there’ll be small screenings of classic films, like you’ll find at film clubs in Deptford and Brockley.

Woolwich has lacked a performance venue since the 1970s and 1980s heyday of the Tramshed, and its last cinema – the Coronet – closed in the 1990s. There’s already a number of people with their eyes on the stage.

If Woolwich is ever to get back on its feet, it needs an independent focus for the community, and it looks like it’s going to get that. I’m looking forward to following the progress Adrian makes with the project.

Written by Darryl

16 September, 2011 at 1:54 pm

7 Responses

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  1. Quite agree, really good news. I wish everyone well with this project.

    Particularly looking forward to an indy-type cinema that I can just jump onto the bus to get to.

    Chris

    19 September, 2011 at 9:42 am

  2. There seems to be a lot of change now going on in Woolwich.

    Sainsbury’s is being modernised for the first time since the 70’s or at least since it opened. The travelodge has not even been started and it’s for sale as an investment for in excess of £7m according to Craddicks retail 2011 site.
    Premier Inn coming to the DLR station near Costa, and Blue Inc returning to Woolwich with both mens and womenswear in the former Ethel Austin store whilst even the old Nationwide Building Society is now under offer according to Shop Property.co.uk. That, and the new shoe shop at the old Body Shop/ Game unit and the Tesco development taking shape and it seems Woolwich is up and coming – and recovered quickly from the riots

    Gabriella Coscia

    23 September, 2011 at 8:12 pm

  3. [...] Rivieras gig at the Mitre is on, despite last week’s fire. 4. The Woolwich Grand Theatre got its planning permission last week. Great news to have a new arts venue in the borough – best of luck to the organisers. 5. The [...]

  4. [...] may be on the way to gaining a Grand Theatre, but there’s still high farce on offer next door at the town hall. There were plenty of [...]

  5. Wonderful news, I often look back at my days within the day to day runnings of the abc with the fondest memories.
    As a child I would attend the “Saturday morning pictures” at the abc where both my mother and grandmother worked and recall the period when the cinema closed as a landmark for the decline of the area. I would be glad to offer any asistance with the historic restoration (if any) as I retain both memory and memorobilia.

    Martin Thorpe

    14 March, 2012 at 10:47 pm

  6. Hi Martin, great to read your post. Would you please contact the theatre to join us for ‘Woolwich memories’? – one of our talk evenings! Ask for Jo for more information. Thanks, Jo

    Jo Barwick

    25 April, 2012 at 6:51 pm

  7. […] Grand Theatre founder Adrian Green gained planning permission to use it as an arts venue in 2011, opening the doors at the beginning of […]


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