Picturehouse cinema to open in Hackney

The location of the upcoming cinema. Photo: Pernille Hilton-Staun

A new Picturehouse cinema will open in Hackney’s Mare Street on October 27 by City Screen company.

In December 2010 City Screen announced it was to take over a former Hackney music venue, Ocean, and turn it into a four-screen cinema, music venue and part-time gallery under the name Hackney Picturehouse.

Gabriel Swartland, spokesperson for City Screen, said: “We feel it is an area that would really benefit from a Picturehouse cinema in a similar vain to The Ritzy in Brixton.”

Rio in Dalston has for many years been the only option for film lovers of Hackney, but with the increase in young creatives, families and taking into account the great ethnic diversity in area, another art and foreign film cinema has been in great demand.

Jules Pipe said: “We have lots of young families in Hackney who will, I’m sure, be only too pleased to have a cinema close to home and the prospect of foreign language and art-house films in addition to blockbuster movies will also be of great appeal to our diverse and creative population.”

Hackney Picturehouse is to open across the street from Hackney Empire, a venue that has seen acts from Charles Chaplin, comic screen play writer Stan Laurel, music hall singer Marie Lloyd and others. Today it hosts concerts, small acts, exhibitions, workshops and has already spoken with Hackney Picturehouse about possible future collaborations.

City Screen is the largest circuit of independent cinemas and the operator of Picture House Cinemas, the alternative cinemas that are spread across the country and London (Brixton, Clapham, Notting Hill, etc). It was founded in 1989 to challenge the modern multiplexes and to screen a broader and more alternative range of films.

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