- Client: Village Underground
We are working with the team behind Village Underground to create a new cultural venue in Dalston. The Hackney Arts Centre will present music, theatre and performance art, with lectures, talks and debates and other cultural events in an important historic building.
This Art Deco building was designed by architect William R Glen for Associated British Cinemas (ABC). It opened on 26th October 1936 as the Savoy Cinema.
It became the ABC from 1961 was closed on 12th March 1977. The following day it re-opened as the Konak Cinema, screening Bollywood films. From March 1982 - February 1984 it was taken over by an independent exhibitor and re-named Ace Cinema.
The stalls area was converted into a snooker hall with a false ceiling extended from the front of the balcony towards the proscenium. The balcony remained empty and unused. By the summer of 1995, the foyer had been converted into two shop units with the removal of the twin staircase which led to the balcony. A Turkish community centre operates in the former balcony foyer using a former emergency exit stairwell to gain access and the stage has been converted into a restaurant. The snooker hall operated out of the rear stalls area until around 2014 when this space was converted into a function room named Epic.
In July 2017, Hackney Council approved the license application and design work is now underway to create a vibrant contribution to Hackney's cultural economy. Building on our recent work with the Grade II* Listed Hoover Building in West London, we will be restoring the old ABC to its former Art Deco splendour.