Mare Street’s failed music venue Ocean to reopen as Hackney Picturehouse next year

17:42 21 December 2010

The Ocean in Mare Street

The Ocean in Mare Street


Four cinema screens and three bars due to open in autumn 2011

THE Ocean, Hackney Council’s white elephant music venue, will be transformed into the Hackney Picturehouse after being leased by City Screen, the Gazette can reveal.

The independent cinema chain which runs the Stratford, Clapham and Greenwich Picturehouses and the Ritzy in Brixton is planning to create four cinema screens and three bars in the venue, a former library, when it takes control of the building in January.

New jobs will also be created after it opens in autumn 2011.

Bosses are remaining tight-lipped about how much money the company is pumping into the building, which was converted into a music venue at the cost of £23 million, including a £15 million grant from Arts Council England, at the turn of the century but it is thought to run into millions.

But the venue will still be used for some music performances.

A Picturehouse spokesman said: “We are thrilled and excited to be opening the Hackney Picturehouse in the autumn. We’re looking forward to providing a diverse range of programming including live music as well as a great range of films synonymous with Picturehouse cinemas up and down the country.

“We hope to make the Hackney Picturehouse a focal point for the community just as the Ritzy in Brixton is the home of cinema in that community.”

The Gazette reported the controversial decision to allow a cinema to take over in June but it was unclear which operator would take over.

Alongside City Screen, a team which has made a success of making The Tabernacle in west London a music venue, also bid for the building’s lease.

But which cinema chain won the lease was not revealed.

Cinemas run by the group vary depending on the area they are placed in and it prides itself on programming for local areas.

Another feature of other cinemas in the chain is a range of membership options which give viewers discounts on films and drinks at the bar.

Cinemagoers are kept up to date with weekly newsletters and direct mail.

The spokesman added that its cinemas in other parts of London had “a very loyal customer base”.

What do you think of the Ocean being changed to Hackney Picturehouse? Email or leave a comment in the box below.

1 comment

  • It will probably fail because of the excessive parking restrictions in and around Mare Street in the evening. I would rather go to Islington where in the evening and over most of the weekend parking is easy and free.

    Report this comment


    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 17:44
Demonstrators march down Whitehall during the 'Let's Save the NHS' rally and protest march by junior doctors in London last month

Medics claim they have been “pushed into a corner” by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, after voting for the first ever “all out” strike in the history of the NHS.

Yesterday, 15:29
Memori Ahmun

Police are appealing for information to help trace a missing teenage girl from Hackney.

Yesterday, 09:56
Kirk Wynter

A father-of-three who tried to kill a prostitute was jailed for 17 years after being identified by his scorpion tattoo.

Yesterday, 09:54
London Ambulance Service has been recommended for special measures following a CQC report

London Ambulance Service rated inadequate and put into special measures by the CQC

Thu, 15:52
Ashley Walters at the launch of the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Academy at Stoke Newington School in 2012. Picture: Carmen Valino

Rapper and actor Ashley Walters will appear at crown court over two accusations of threatening behaviour and one of racially aggravated harassment in Upper Street’s Hilton Hotel on May 3.

Thu, 13:16
The man police want to trace

A woman’s body was left with cuts after a man wearing a straw trilby hat allegedly attacked her with a fluorescent light tube after their dogs got into a fight in Hoxton.

Thu, 12:16
An artist's impression of the Tiger Way development, bordering Hackney Downs

Parents with youngsters at two primaries are in turmoil since it was announced the schools have been earmarked for demolition.

Thu, 09:29
Shoreditch Park and the Brittania Leisure Centre are under threat from development of the Crossrail project

Hackney Council has slammed plans for Crossrail 2 which involve the demolition of Britannia Leisure Centre or the imposition of a two-storey structure in Shoreditch Park after six years churning it up.

Most read news


Section Boys, Big Tipper, Big Narstie, Lady Leshurr, Trapstar, and UFest street team members

We’ve got 10 pairs of tickets to give away to watch some of the country’s best and brightest urban music talent at UFest, London’s official youth festival.

MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder