Hackney Picturehouse opening in old Ocean music venue next week

Film lovers will be on the edge of their seats with the launch of a new cinema this month.

Hackney Picturehouse opens on Friday October 28 in the controversial old Ocean music venue in Mare Street.

The flagship arts centre, once hailed as London’s only large scale independent music venue opposite Hackney Town Hall, was shut in 2004 after swallowing �23million of public regeneration cash.

It has since stood empty, except for occasional use by the Rising Tide education project, but will reborn next week as Hackney’s second cinema.

MP Diane Abbott described this most recent transformation as a “slap in the face” for Hackney’s artistic community and “long-suffering” taxpayers when the plans were announced earlier this year.

But organisers said the new cinema would become a “landmark culture centre”.

“We hope to create a vibrant local community cinema that will become one of the linchpins of cultural activity in the centre of the borough and which will complement the Rio Cinema in Dalston,” said Gabriel Swartland, head of communication at Picturehouse Cinemas.

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The programme will feature both arthouse and mainstream films, and opening titles include The Help, Tintin 3D, and We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Ticket prices are yet to be confirmed.

The cinema will also screen live opera ballet and art exhibitions, alongside Film Africa, Poland on Screen and Kurdish film festivals.

Its bar, the Hackney Attic, will host regular music nights and sell a special Hackney Picturehouse beer created by the new London Fields Brewery in Helmsley Place.

Those people who have already signed up as members will get a first look at the refurbished venue in the week before the opening.

For more information go to www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Hackney_Picturehouse.