Mirth, Marvel and Maud

Bars and pubs Walthamstow
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An elaborate cinema-turned-pub/arts space in Walthamstow.

First, let’s deal with that name. Pub-makeover aficionados Antic wanted to bring the mirth aspect back to this, a bar-cum-restaurant-cum-arts space within a disused, Grade II-listed Walthamstow cinema. Refurbishing it took a lot of time, money and care, so the process was something of a marvel. And, it turns out, Antic boss Anthony Thomas went to a similar place as a kid with his great aunt Maud. If that all sounds a bit tenuous, and merely an excuse to give the place a vague feeling of nostalgic glitz, then sure – and why not?

The space is split into two: ‘Mirth’ is the foyer bar and restaurant, ‘Maud’ the screening room arts space. From the gilt plasterwork, to the vintage furniture on the mezzanine, to the Sinatra seeping from the speakers, faded glamour is very much this place’s USP. It’s difficult to stand in the foyer and not picture the buzzing picture palace of a bygone East End.

Antic have applied a few neat little touches, like turning the old ticket kiosks into a cocktail bar, which offers a few neat spins on the classics (a Bloody Maud adds port and Mexican spices to the vodka, lemon and tomato juice). The main bar at the rear of the ground floor stocks the requisite local lagers and ales. Staff are chirpy.

Curiously, the outlandish nature of the venue is a double-edged sword when it comes to atmosphere. It was thrumming with life on a Friday evening, but on a deserted Sunday night it felt more spooky than swanky. But with an events programme packed with screenings, gigs, stand-up and DJ sets, sparse crowds shouldn’t be an issue for long. This feels like it might become E17’s answer to Wilton’s Music Hall. It might have one eye set on past glories, but the future looks bright for Mirth, Marvel and Maud.

By: Matt Breen

Posted:

Venue name: Mirth, Marvel and Maud
Contact:
Address: 186
Hoe Street
London
E17 4QH
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 4pm-11pm; Thu 4pm-midnight; Fri 4pm-2am; Sat noon-2am; Sun noon-11pm
Transport: Tube: Walthamstow Central
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To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com
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    Average User Rating

    4.5 / 5

    Rating Breakdown

    • 5 star:8
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    LiveReviews|16
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    tastemaker

    What more would you expect from a town that's becoming the new hipster capital of London?

    When I heard they were opening up the old cinema again, a cinema that had provided me with much entertainment over my life, from free willy, to Jeepers creepers, the last film that I saw there at 14. I thought what kind of establishment would work in such a unique location. Of course, a pub, but not just any. With the old withering decor, given a new splash of paint and a bit of a dust off, it has become something of a marvel, though one can't help but wonder why and who they are trying so to impress. I mean this Walthamstow.

    Now they have sorted out the cocktail and food menu, it doesn't seem to be trying as hard to look as if it has been trying to get the hipster establishment of the year award and is catering a bit more to twenty/ thirty somethings that just wish to have a slightly nicer more relaxed time than most of the other pubs in the area do. Though the odd happy hour wouldn't go amiss, that's something they are really missing a trick with.


    The slow restoration of what used to be the EMD cinema has been very interesting to watch. As more parts open so more facilities become available and Mirth, Marvel and Maud now offers small film screenings and theatre as well as dinner and drinks. Their drink selection is good but the queues and wait at the bar is often quite long due to it's large floor area meaning the number of customers on a Friday or Saturday night can overwhelm the staff. Can't wait to see it when it is fully open again if they are true to their word about making it a decent events and comedy venue too.

    Tastemaker

    Great cocktails, tastefully decorated, in the art deco style. This used to be a cinema and was recently converted into a pub and music venue - great job done on it and I've always noticed a lively atmosphere when I've visited.

    Tastemaker

    An old art deco cinema with a central cocktail bar where the box office used to be, another bar underneath the grand staircase and a dancefloor and eating area above that gets heaving at the weekends. They also play Tome and Jerry on a projector all night and have performers on special nights pole dancing and doing all kinds of strange things with hoops etc. There's also another smaller venue which used to be one of the old cinema rooms that's an arts and events space. Watch out if you decide to dance there though, the sloped floor where the seats used to be can easily set you off balance, but if you're not quite off balance enough you can also grab a drink at the bar installed in there too. Quirky.


    I love this place especially when it's not crowded. Beautiful and majestic more than the spooky! Good ales, pinbal, table football and some nice staff ( until it's chucking out time)


    What a gem! Perfectly preserved art deco cinema with visiting DJs craft ale and popcorn. This bar epitomises Walthamstow's new reputation as Clapton for grown ups. Trim your beard, fold down your turn ups and relax.....


    Awesome cocktails, great staff, beautiful quirky venue - what's not to love!


    nostalgic, the old cinema I had my first ever date in, has been re-envisaged as a pub


    It's quirky, it's massive, it's open late, the food is yummy, the porn star martinis are the best, loads of craft beer...definitely a destination pub!