The new Hackney Arts Centre: forgotten Savoy Cinema to be restored as cultural heart of East London
The team behind Village Underground in Shoreditch intend to restore a derelict cinema in Dalston. The former Savoy Cinema, built in 1936, will be given a new lease of life as Hackney Arts Centre (HAC).
HAC will serve the local community in Hackney, giving space and world class cultural opportunities to people in the area. It is also planned HAC will be a springboard for the next generation of creative talent; local artists, thinkers and musicians will be able to get their message to a larger audience.
The main auditorium, which has laid largely unused since the mid-nineties, will be renovated with many of its original art deco features returned to their former glory. Two other areas which have been used as a bar and cafe until recently will be given a major overhaul to give Hackney a 21st century arts centre. The three distinct areas will allow the venue to be used for a many day and night-time purposes from readings, comedy and debates, to larger theatre and music events. Similar to Village Underground, the space will be curated to span art forms and diverse genres and voices. There will also be a focus on experimental and innovative performance and art.
The news is a welcome antidote to stories of club and artist studio closures across London. Like Village Underground, HAC will be self-sufficient and not reliant on EU or Arts Council funding.