'Victory' for campaign to save 'Hitchcock' cinema

EMD cinema Alfred Hitchcock used to watch films at the EMD cinema as a boy

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Campaigners have claimed plans to convert a former east London cinema once frequented by Alfred Hitchcock into a church have been rejected.

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) wants to transform the EMD cinema, which the director visited as a child, into a place of worship.

But residents and celebrities strongly oppose the plans.

Campaigners Bill Hodgson said Waltham Forest Council had unanimously thrown out the application.

He said: "It is a great result and an outright victory for the campaigners."

Demonstrators dressed as Alfred Hitchcock took part in a protest outside Walthamstow Town Hall, before Wednesday night's meeting.

'Architectural gem'

During the grade-II listed cinema's history, the venue has also hosted concerts by the likes of The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

UCKG bought the cinema in 2003, but it has since sat empty after the church's initial application to convert the building was rejected.

Sir Mick Jagger and actor and presenter Tony Robinson are two of the celebrities to have spoken out against plans to convert the cinema.

Mr Hodgson of the McGuffin Film Society, which is part of the campaign to save it, said: "The EMD cinema is probably the most loved building in the area and the outpouring of public support for it has been overwhelming.

"It is an architectural gem and the last substantial entertainment left in this part of London."

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