Page last updated at 20:15 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 21:15 UK

Jagger backs saving Stones venue

The EMD cinema in Walthamstow
Walthamstow's EMD cinema closed its doors in 2003

Sir Mick Jagger has backed a campaign to save a historic cinema where the Rolling Stones played in the 1960s.

The EMD cinema in Walthamstow, north-east London, is Grade II-listed in recognition of its Art Deco interior.

The derelict cinema was sold in 2003 to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. It has been denied permission to develop the building.

The cinema was also frequently visited as a boy by master film-maker Alfred Hitchcock, who grew up in London.

In the 1960s the cinema, then the Granada, hosted gigs by many top bands including the Stones, the Beatles, the Kinks and the Who.


Planning permission to use it as a church was refused to the religious group, but campaigners say they expect another attempt to convert the building.

Sir Mick said: "Cinemas and live venues like the Granada in Walthamstow where the Stones played in the early days, learning our craft on the way, are the lifeblood of our cultural history.

"They helped launched British popular music on to a world stage and should continue to function as places of entertainment and enjoyment.

"It's heartbreaking to hear about such a beautiful, important historical building and centre of entertainment being lost to the local community.

"I fully support the campaign to keep it open and provide film, music and the arts for generations to come."

The campaign has also attracted support from broadcaster Tony Robinson, actress and comedy writer Meera Syal and politician Tony Benn.

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