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Village Underground’s founders want to turn an old cinema into a ‘Roundhouse for east London’

Written by
Matilda Egere-Cooper

It was back in 2006 that the guys behind Village Underground took a rundown warehouse in Shoreditch and turned it into a pretty decent music venue. Now, 11 years on, they’ve set their sights on transforming the old Savoy cinema in Dalston into an arts centre – if their licence application is approved.  

According to a 28-page proposal, the new venue would be known as the Hackney Arts Centre and work across ‘music, theatre and performance art, with lectures, talks and debates, comedy, performance poetry, dance and other cultural events’.

Dubbing it a ‘Roundhouse for east London’, the founders of Village Underground say the space on Stoke Newington Road would also include a café, restaurant and bar.

Commenting on the venue, VU founder Auro Foxcroft said: ‘We found out about it around two years ago when we met someone who was using the derelict space to store some kit. We asked if we could see it and arranged a meeting with the owner – and it was love at first sight.

‘Through the darkness, the clutter, the holes in the ceiling and the rat and pigeon poo, we could see beautiful original features that were crying out to be restored and have life breathed back into them.’

They’re hoping that local residents interested in supporting the plans will get in touch with Hackney Council by 4pm on Good Friday (April 14) or attend a public consultation day on April 23, 10am-4pm, at the proposed location.

In more major venue news, Dalston Roof Park is reopening this month for another summer of fun.

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