The Ocean Rooms has long been empty after huge venue potential gave way to crime ridden club. I went to see Buene Vista Social Club there back in 2003, but that was it, which is a shame as Hackney is lacking a bigger venue for bands to play at.
But this autumn sees a new era of regeneration for the building and hint of the “gentrification” of central Hackney.
Picturehouse cinemas show both the spectacular blockbusters we all love as well as culturally more savvy delights from around the world. They fuse live screening, film events and satellite Q&As with the whole cinematic experience feeling a lot more personal than your average multiplex.
The Ritzy in Brixton is a great example of how the terrace café and bar have made the area feel safer and more cosmopolitan.
Lyn Goleby, managing director of Picturehouse, said: “Cinemas have a huge regenerative ability and we’ve seen area after area change and improve, including Brixton and Stratford. Cinemas can give a heart to a place.”
Hopefully the same can be said for Picturehouse Hackney this time next year!
You can sign up to be a “founding member” of the cinema here.