Granada Cinema, Woolwich

The former Granada Cinema, also known as the Ebenezer Building or Cathedral of Christ Faith Tabernacle, in Woolwich, South East London, was built as a large and luxurious cinema in the 1930s. It had a seating capacity of nearly 2500 and is now being used as a church hall. The building with its extravagantly decorated interior is a Grade II* listed building.HistoryIn the early 20th century Woolwich was a thriving industrial and military town. In the mid-1930s there were several smaller movie theatres operating in Woolwich, when two leading companies in the business, Sidney Bernstein's Granada and Oscar Deutsch's Odeon, decided more or less simultaneously to establish large cinemas in the town. The first of the two to open in 1937 was the Granada Cinema; the Odeon opened four months later, just across the road.Granada by this time had a track record for building Britain's most glamorous cinemas. In Woolwich however, Cecil Masey (1881–1960) and Reginald Uren (1903–1988) built an outwardly rather severe theatre, but with a lavish interior by Russian-born designer Theodore Komisarjevsky (1882–1954). The builders, Bovis Ltd, started work in 1936 after the west end of Powis Street had been widened. It opened on 20 April 1937 with Good Morning, Boys and Lady Be Careful. Special guests at the opening ceremony were American actress Glenda Farrell and British comic actor Claude Hulbert.

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