'The Secret Policeman Revisited' was held at Walthamstow's Victoria Bar on 28 February 2009
‘Scars of Dracula’ was screened as part of the 2008 Halloween Film Night
Qiu Ju" attracted a huge audience to the opening night of the
society's second season at the EMD
celebrated the "Carry On" series at a special event in
of It Was An Accident featured a guest appearance by the author
Jeremy Cameron (July 2002)
Malcolm X was
shown at the EMD in February 2002
Night On Earth was screened as part of the hugely popular Jim Jarmusch
Film fans queue
for tickets at the "Blood Simple" screening
(Oct 2001 - Season Two)
- Les Diaboliques was screened at the EMD during November 2002
historian Michael Burrows delivered his acclaimed John Ford Lecture
at the EMD in December 2002
More than 500
people attended the Gala Last Night Show to mark the closing night
of the EMD
raised more than £2000 for charity on the closing night
A very popular
George Formby impersonator entertained the crowds at the Gala Last
lead the closing speeches as midnight approaches
(3rd January 2003)
The McGuffin presentation of 'Think No Evil Of Us - My Life With Kenneth Williams' ran for 16 sell out nights
was celebrated with a screening of "Shadow Of The Vampire"
The newly released
"Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" movie was
screened in Walthamstow Town Square
(3 September 2005)
Neil Innes performed live on 29 April 2006
The Daleks invaded Walthamstow Town Square for the McGuffins Open Air Cinema
Dave Morris and Helen Steel – the “McLibel Two” – attended the screening of ‘McLibel’ in May 2007.
Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard joined 400 residents at a public meeting to discuss the future of the EMD Cinema
(29 March 2009)
'The Girl Can't Help It' was screened at the McGuffins Open Air Cinema in 2009
Sir Mick Jagger joins the campaign
Legendary rocker Ed Tudor-Pole performs live at the McGuffins Day of Action
(13 September 2009)
An image of Alfred Hitchcock projected on to the empty EMD
Around 400 protestors lined up on Walthamstow’s Hoe Street in January 2008 to mark the fifth anniversary of the EMD Cinema’s closure.
This page includes a complete history of the McGuffin organisation and the campaign to save Waltham Forest’s EMD Cinema. All images are © The McGuffin Group - except for images depicting film advertising or persons participating in those films, where copyright resides with the current owner. The McGuffin Film & Television Society is a non profit-making fully independent community organisation run by volunteers with a membership of around 1000 local people. The Society is concerned with the promotion of quality film and TV and the preservation of Waltham Forest's EMD Cinema as an important historical, architectural and cultural landmark. The Society is committed to screening material that is not often shown by commercial cinemas and which reflects the cultural diversity of the local population.
The Story So Far…
The McGuffin Film Society was formed at the beginning of 2001 following Odeon Cinema's decision to sell their historic Waltham Forest site as part of a country-wide disposal of older style venues. The former Walthamstow Granada was sold to EMD Cinemas with a restrictive clause preventing the new owners from screening English language films, effectively signalling the end of local cinemagoing for many of the borough's residents. The Society was initially set up to circumvent these decisions and maintain some form of active cinema community in Waltham Forest. The name 'McGuffin' was chosen as a sly reference to a plot device commonly used in the films of local born director Alfred Hitchcock (although usually spelt 'macguffin' in this context) and to highlight the irony that his birthplace was now the only London borough where his films could not be shown on the big screen!
The founding members of McGuffin quickly reached an agreement with EMD to run an 'arthouse' foreign language film club at the venue in order to present the broadest range of movies to the widest audience possible under the restrictive sales clause. Unfortunately, Odeon thwarted this agreement by insisting the venue should only screen films in the native languages of the Indian sub-continent. At this stage, the fledgling McGuffin Film Society abandoned plans for a straightforward foreign language film club and began a campaign to have the EMD Cinema reopened as a community wide resource and fully free of Odeon's influence.
Within weeks of being established over 100 local people signed up to join the McGuffins and the group’s debut film at the EMD - Satyajit Ray's The Adversary (Pratidwandi) - was shown on Friday 30th March 2001 to a near capacity audience. An inaugural meeting was held the following week at Prospero's Bookshop in Leytonstone where the founding members and active volunteers of the Society were formally validated by the membership and an Executive Committee was formed. A rigorous Constitution was then drawn up, specifically aimed at protecting the Society from interference or infiltration from external commercial or non-cultural interests.
With the help of the local press, the borough's MP's and various film industry professionals, a campaign was launched to persuade Odeon to drop their claims on the Waltham Forest cinema. Walthamstow MP Neil Gerrard agreed to table an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons in support of the campaign (text may be viewed here) and former National Film Theatre supremo Leslie Hardcastle offered to petition Odeon on the Society's behalf. The McGuffin campaign immediately generated a great deal of local and national media coverage which helped ignite a nationwide debate on the appropriate use and preservation of historic cinema buildings.
After several months of campaigning, Odeon finally relented and agreed to revise its original sales clause to enable the EMD to operate as a fully independent cinema. The McGuffins immediately booked Alfred Hitchcock's ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ for a symbolic victory screening at the EMD on 11th May 2001.
The McGuffin Film Society then began to schedule its own regular programme of arthouse, classic and cult films at the venue. McGuffin screenings attracted large and diverse audiences throughout 2001 for films including the Coen Brothers' ‘Blood Simple’, Jean Luc Godard's ‘Bande a Part’, ‘Carry On Up The Jungle’, ‘Theatre Of Blood’, ‘Delicatessen’, ‘Story Of Qui Ju’, ‘Roma’, ‘Raise The Red Lantern’, ‘Bus Stop’ and the Russian science fiction classic ‘Solaris’. In November 2001 the Society held a very successful 1960s TV Night with classic episodes of ‘Dr Who’, ‘Secret Service’, ‘Danger Man’, ‘Captain Scarlet’ etc. on the big screen alongside original trailers and adverts from the period. The Society was also delighted to be joined by former ‘Dr Who’ star Katy Manning for a live onstage interview. At the end of 2001 the Society began work on a longer term ambition to restore many of the EMD's original features including the 1930s projection box along with the stage and lighting facilities in Cinema 1.
The McGuffins began 2002 with a series of events to commemorate the life and work of Alfred Hitchcock including screenings of ‘Strangers on a Train’ and ‘Sabotage’. 2002 saw a large upsurge in membership and consistently high attendances for EMD shows including ‘Malcolm X’, ‘The Flower Of My Secret’, ‘Exterminating Angel’, ‘Yojimbo’, ‘Night On Earth’ and the French spinechiller ‘Les Diaboliques’. In May 2002 the Society staged a 35th anniversary celebration of Patrick McGoohan's cult TV series ‘The Prisoner’ which attracted a capacity audience to the EMD and featured guest appearances by leading British character actor Kenneth Griffith, stuntman Frank Maher, film editor Tony Sloman and writer Robert Fairclough. This was followed by a World Cinema Day at the Epicentre in Leytonstone and a guest appearance by author Jeremy Cameron at a special EMD screening of ‘It Was An Accident’.
In September 2002 the McGuffins staged ‘London On Film’, an exhaustive three day festival showcasing the most original and unusual films shot in the capital. The festival was held at the EMD Cinema and various other venues around the borough including the Ross Wyld Hall, the Sir Alfred Hitchcock Hotel, the Epicentre and the Grove Tavern. The festival featured a wide range of films by new directors screened alongside established titles including ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Passport to Pimlico’. The McGuffins also secured the UK premiere of Patrick Keillor's ‘Dilapidated Dwelling’ as the finale to the weekend.In October 2002 the Society teamed up with MTV Europe to film ‘It's Only A Movie’ at the EMD, a tongue-in-cheek documentary tracing the history of horror films which was broadcast on Halloween night. The year ended with a visit by respected film historian Michael Burrows who delivered his acclaimed John Ford Lecture in Cinema 3.
Sadly, towards the close of 2002 it was announced the EMD Cinema was again to be sold. The prospective buyer this time was the Universal Church of The Kingdom of God (UCKG), an international religious organisation with plans to convert the venue into a place of worship. In response, the Society immediately organised a campaign of letter writing and petitioning to preserve the EMD as a working cinema. With the help of various residents groups and sympathetic local councillors, a significant challenge was mounted to prevent UCKG obtaining planning permission to pursue their scheme. A public demonstration was staged at Waltham Forest Town Hall which received a great deal of newspaper coverage and featured prominently on the national BBC News. On Tuesday 12 November 2002 Waltham Forest Council's Planning Committee voted unanimously to reject the Church plan.
Ownership of the EMD Cinema transferred to UCKG in early January 2003 and the building immediately closed to the public. The church organisation then lodged an appeal with central government aimed at overturning the local authority decision to refuse permission for changes to the building. It was announced the government would hold a Public Inquiry to determine the fate of the cinema at some point in the months ahead. The McGuffins immediately pledged to contest UCKG’s appeal and began preparing detailed evidence to be presented at the forthcoming Public Inquiry while mobilising further support for the campaign to save the troubled cinema.
To mark the closing night of the EMD, the McGuffins organised an enormous charity gala performance at the cinema on Friday 3 January 2003. The main film of the evening was the 1957 comedy ‘The Smallest Show On Earth’ and this was accompanied by a series of shorter films reflecting the venue's long history. The event also featured a performance by internationally acclaimed musician Simon Gledhill who gave a memorable recital on the EMD's historic Christie organ. Additional live entertainment was provided by stuntman Terry Cole, a very popular George Formby impersonator and various guest speakers. Cinema 1 was completely restyled and rejuvenated to give the evening an authentic 1930s flavour. The event was attended by over 500 people with several hundred more turned away due to lack of space. The gala was an immense success and sufficiently profitable to enable the McGuffins to make a £2000 donation to Haven House, a local children's hospice.
The McGuffins then organised a further campaign of letter writing, petitioning etc. aimed at central government to demonstrate the strength of local feeling in support of the cinema. More than 2500 people signed petitions and several hundred also wrote individual letters of objection.
Over the weekend of 26-27 January 2003, an illegal rave party was held at the cinema and sound equipment, original furniture and fittings were looted from the building. Many areas of the cinema were covered in graffiti and the unique Christie Organ was also damaged. UCKG claimed to have no prior knowledge of this event - although the McGuffins immediately received eyewitness accounts of alleged church members visiting the premises shortly beforehand.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2003 the ongoing McGuffin campaign to save the cinema continued to receive widespread national press, TV and radio coverage while attracting many high profile supporters. London Mayor Ken Livingstone declared his support for the campaign in a personal letter to the Society. A message of support was also received from Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia Hitchcock, writing from her home in California. The national office of the Musicians Union contacted the Society to pledge their backing for the campaign. On Monday 9th June, the McGuffins organised a large demonstration and vigil in support of the cinema at Waltham Forest Town Hall and this received further newspaper and television coverage for the campaign.
On 10th June 2003, government inspectors finally arrived in Waltham Forest to hold the much anticipated Public Inquiry to determine the fate of the cinema. UCKG made their case for converting the building into a church while arguments to preserve the venue as a cinema were presented by the local authority, the McGuffin Film Society, various residents groups and representatives of The Cinema Theatre Association. It was originally anticipated that the Public Inquiry would be concluded within several days but proceedings eventually ran to almost three weeks as detailed arguments were articulated by all sides. At the end of the Public Inquiry, the planning inspectors began preparing a report for the Office of The Deputy Prime Minister based on the evidence they had heard.
McGuffin film screenings continued intermittently throughout the campaign. Various films including 'Hue and Cry' and 'Bend It Like Beckham' were screened at the Epicentre in Leytonstone and the Society also became involved in organising the first ever Walthamstow Festival for the weekend of 6-7 September, presenting the first major big screen film show in the borough since the closure of the EMD. The debut McGuffins Open Air Cinema was held in Walthamstow Town Square as the launch event of the Festival weekend. The evening was formally opened by the local Mayor and several hundred people crowded into the Square to watch 'Monsoon Wedding' and a short film about the EMD which was produced especially for the event.
On 21st October 2003, the concluding report by the Planning Inspectorate was finally published and this strongly urged that the UCKG proposals should be dismissed and the EMD retained as a cinema. It was announced this view was endorsed by the government and UCKG were duly informed they had lost their appeal. A tense few weeks followed as campaigners waited to hear if UCKG would contest the government's decision in the High Court. However, by the close of 2003 it became apparent UCKG had declined to do so as all deadlines for possible further appeals had then been reached. Shortly afterwards, Waltham Forest Council announced that a ‘Compulsory Purchase Order’ would be served on UCKG if they refused to voluntarily sell the cinema.
Early in 2004 the McGuffin Film Society was honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony held at London's National Film Theatre. The Society received the award for 'Community Contribution - Distinction' in recognition of the campaign to save the EMD. The award was presented by Danish film director Henrik Ruben Genz.
A short term cinema venue was then opened at Walthamstow's Plough Inn to continue local film screenings while the EMD remained idle. Various films including 'Dirty Pretty Things' and the British horror classic 'The Haunting' were screened and the McGuffins were delighted to welcome actor David Benson for 16 sell out performances of his award winning West End hit 'Think No Evil Of Us - My Life with Kenneth Williams'. In the summer of 2004 the Society organised a popular screening of the German comedy 'Goodbye Lenin!' for the closing night of the Leytonstone Festival which was again held at the Epicentre.
Another hugely successful Open Air Cinema event was staged as part of the second Walthamstow Festival on Saturday 4 September 2004. The main film of the evening was the Coen Brothers’ comedy fantasy 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'. The screening was accompanied by live music from urban bluegrass band Hillbilly Express. The event was attended by around 500 people.
Throughout 2004 the Society continued to receive expressions of interest from potential buyers of the EMD Cinema and in the Autumn a petition was delivered to UCKG containing more than 1000 signatures urging the church to sell the building. A letter was also received from Waltham Forest Council reaffirming their commitment to a Compulsory Purchase Order if UCKG did not voluntarily sell the site.
2005 saw the continuation of film shows at the temporary Plough Inn venue including the acclaimed Iraqi drama 'Turtles Can Fly', the classic musical 'All That Jazz' and the satirical horror 'Shadow of the Vampire' as well the UK premiere of the Estonian travelogue 'Adventure High'. Special events included a guest appearance by 'Doctor Who' script editor Andrew Cartmel and the return of actor David Benson who presented his evening of 'Kenneth Williams TV Gems and Rarities' direct from a sell out performance at the National Film Theatre. A third Open Air Cinema event was also held in Walthamstow Town Square, attracting a record audience for a screening of the newly released comedy 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy'.
In the summer of 2005 the McGuffin Film Society assisted the local council with a public consultation in order to obtain a clear picture of the demands of cinemagoers in Waltham Forest and examine the options for cinema provision in the borough. The McGuffins organised a large public meeting as the centrepiece of the consultation process which was held at Waltham Forest Theatre on July 10 and attended by more than 400 people, amply demonstrating the continuing overwhelming support for reopening the EMD. Representatives from UCKG also attended the meeting although they did not participate in the debate.
In September 2005 it was announced UCKG intended to sell the cinema.
A frenzy of press speculation then ensued with the cinema sale again pushing the EMD story to the forefront of local news and UCKG soon admitted there had been a high level of interest from potential buyers. Several bidders held discussions with the McGuffin Film Society and confirmed that site visits to the cinema had revealed the interior remained in relatively good condition.
By early 2006 UCKG announced a ‘preferred bidder’ had been identified and estate agents Humberts Leisure confirmed a deal was imminent.
Film screenings became less frequent during this period as attention focussed on the cinema sale. McGuffin events at the temporary Plough Inn venue concluded in April 2006 with a memorable sell out performance by Neil Innes, star of the classic comedy ‘The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash’ and famous for his work with Monty Python and the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. A fourth Open Air Cinema event was staged in August 2006 with the 1966 film ‘Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.’ shown on the big screen and live music provided by 10-piece soul band Motherfunk - with a gold Dalek on patrol throughout the proceedings! The summer months also saw the completion of work on the McGuffin documentary film ‘The Last Days of the EMD Cinema’ which examined both the history of the venue and the campaign to save it from closure.
During the Autumn of 2006 serious disquiet was voiced by some cinema bidders and complaints about the slow pace of sale negotiations were made public. UCKG issued a statement claiming the continued uncertainty over the council’s redevelopment of the adjacent Arcade site had proven to be an obstacle in their negotiations with some bidders. The site had originally been earmarked for a new public library but this scheme had collapsed and the future of the development was now the subject of some speculation. Rumours then began to emerge of a secret council plan to build a rival multiplex cinema on the site and the EMD sale process was immediately thrown into disarray. UCKG took the EMD off the market and issued a statement claiming the sale would be re-examined when initiatives for the surrounding land had been finalised.
With the EMD again in limbo, the McGuffins opened another temporary cinema venue at Walthamstow’s Forest Recycling Building in the Spring of 2007 to stage a popular themed season of films titled ‘Radical Screen’. Films included ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’, ‘Oi For England’ and ‘How Arnold Won The West’ along with a special screening of ‘McLibel’ attended by its stars Helen Steel and Dave Morris.
The McGuffins Open Air Cinema 2007 saw 800 people flocking into Walthamstow for a screening of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Illusionist’. The event also featured an outdoor performance by the London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra who entertained the crowds prior to the main film.
2007 came to a close with the shock revelation of a proposed £884,000 council subsidy to help a private developer build a new cinema on the EMD’s doorstep.
The news of the £884,000 multiplex subsidy led to more than 400 protestors demonstrating against the scheme outside the EMD in January 2008 on the fifth anniversary of the venue’s closure.
The council’s U-turn over its commitment to the EMD Cinema was condemned by the McGuffin Film Society and many residents contacted local councillors to express their disgust. Hoardings appeared in central Walthamstow proclaiming the new development to be underway, with a planning application due in Autumn 2008 and building set to start at the beginning of 2009. It was revealed the multiplex cinema would be part of a proposed 18-20 storey tower block which would include 200 flats and various retail units. However, it quickly became apparent the retail offer of the new development would be limited to a new Primark clothing store and various unspecified food outlets.
The McGuffins organised a one day film festival in January 2008 to highlight the EMD’s plight and to emphasise the neglect of Waltham Forest’s film heritage. ‘Waltham Forest on Film’ was held at the Victoria Bar, part of the original EMD complex. A packed programme of screenings included the Alfred Hitchcock rarity ‘Number 17’, the documentary ‘Hollywood E17’, various works by local filmmakers and the William Morris biopic ‘News from Nowhere’. Around 200 people attended the busy event and at least as many were turned away due to lack of space.
A more relaxed second event was staged at the Victoria Bar when the McGuffins Silent Film Night took place on Saturday 24 May 2008. The evening featured a selection of beautifully restored silent film classics including Buster Keaton’s ‘Cops’ and the Lon Chaney spinechiller ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ with specially composed live musical accompaniment performed by E17 Jazz. The sixth McGuffins Open Air Cinema took place in Walthamstow town centre on Saturday 12 July and featured the colourful Hollywood musical ‘On The Town’, starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. The event also boasted a live appearance by the celebrated John Garfield Swing Band who performed a selection of classic songs from the 1940s and 1950s.
As the Autumn of 2008 approached, the McGuffins and local residents prepared to contest the anticipated planning application for the council’s multiplex cinema and tower block scheme. However, the planning application failed to materialise and rumours began circulating which suggested the project was in danger of imminent collapse.
Meanwhile, a Halloween Film Night was held at Walthamstow’s Castle pub on 31 October with a selection of horror films shown on a specially installed screen. Highlights included Christopher Lee’s ‘Scars of Dracula’, the TV suspense play ‘The Thai Bride’ and a selection of horror shorts and vintage film trailers. October 2008 also saw the debut of a new McGuffin short film about the EMD Cinema which was subsequently shown throughout the day on the BBC Big Screen in Walthamstow Town Square for the remainder of the year.
2008 ended with Waltham Forest Council admitting their town centre scheme had proven to be “an illusion” with the entire project back on the drawing board. Within days, the McGuffin Film Society was alerted to secret negotiations taking place between council officials and UCKG aimed at converting the EMD Cinema for church use…
At the beginning of 2009 it was confirmed that talks were underway between Waltham Forest Council and UCKG to devise a new scheme to convert the cinema into a place of worship. The new proposals would see the vast majority of the site used exclusively as a church with some space in the former Upstairs Circle area of Cinema 1 adapted to create a small venue which UCKG claimed would eventually be available for community hire at commercial rates. The adjoining carpet shop and Victoria pub would also be closed and converted into UCKG ‘training rooms’ and ‘youth centre’. Councillor Terry Wheeler, the council's Cabinet member for regeneration, led the local authority’s negotiations with UCKG while PR company the Remarkable Group were enlisted to help deliver the plan.
In March 2009 more than 400 residents gathered to discuss the new proposals at a public meeting organised by the McGuffin Film Society. 100% of those in attendance voted in favour of reviving the EMD as a cinema in preference to the council's 'aspiration' to build a multiplex in the area. 100% also voted in favour of the council pursuing a Compulsory Purchase Order to take control of the site.
The following month UCKG held an exhibition of their new plans which prompted a huge demonstration outside the EMD Cinema attended by over 600 local residents and attracting coverage from television, radio and the international press. Messages of support were received from a number of celebrities including rock legend Sir Mick Jagger, veteran politician Tony Benn and actors Meera Syal, Tony Robinson, Alan Davies and David Warner. The family of Sidney and Cecil Bernstein - the showbiz moguls who created the cinema in 1930 - also contacted the McGuffin Film Society to declare their support for the campaign.
Shortly afterwards, several high profile cinema operators went on the record to confirm their ongoing interest in reviving the EMD including James Hannaway of Berkhamsted's Rex Cinema and Genesis Cinema creator Tyrone Walker-Hebborn. Lyn Goleby - the managing director of Britain's most successful independent cinema chain Picturehouse - held meetings with senior council representatives and outlined plans for the EMD's revival. Meanwhile, Councillor Terry Wheeler publicly declared his support for UCKG's scheme, stating that a church development would be "more attractive" to young people than a revived cinema.
McGuffin film shows continued throughout the year commencing with 'The Secret Policeman Revisited' at the Victoria bar on 28 February, an event celebrating the various 'Secret Policeman's Ball' comedy movies produced by Amnesty International. The Victoria bar was also the venue for an evening of films reflecting the EMD's history on 18 April which was held as an urgent fundraiser for the cinema campaign.
The McGuffin Film Society represented Waltham Forest in London Mayor Boris Johnson's Story of London Festival in June 2009 with a special event held at Leytonstone's Heathcote Music Venue celebrating the life and career of Alfred Hitchcock. The sell out event featured an 80th anniversary screening of Britain's first talking picture 'Blackmail', a selection of short films examining the area's rich cinematic history and the premiere of the McGuffins 65-minute documentary 'Alfred Hitchcock in East London' which had recently been completed. 'Alfred Hitchcock in East London' was also shown as part of the Leytonstone Festival shortly afterwards and subsequently released on DVD. In addition, the McGuffins Open Air Cinema 2009 was held in Walthamstow town centre on Saturday 11 July with the classic 1956 rock and roll comedy 'The Girl Can't Help It' shown on a giant outdoor screen.
With the campaign to save the EMD Cinema again in full swing, UCKG's new planning application was finally published in August. A Day of Action was organised by the McGuffin Film Society on Sunday 13 September to enable residents to register their objections to the church proposals. The Day of Action was held across both floors of Walthamstow's Rose and Crown pub and featured a live performance by actor and 80s pop star Ed Tudor-Pole, a children's film screening of 'A Bug's Life' and the premiere of 'Save Our Screen', an independent documentary about the campaign to save the EMD. The event was attended by over 600 people.
By the end of the year more than 1000 local residents had sent written objections to the council and a detailed planning submission was presented by campaigners. UCKG was forced to undertake urgent repair work at the cinema following the partial collapse of the neglected building's canopy and the discovery of untreated asbestos on the site. UCKG's planning application was placed on hold until these repairs were completed and council planning officers could gain access to the building to assess their proposals. With a decision on the EMD's fate again delayed, campaigners and residents held a Christmas demonstration outside the building on Saturday 13 December in support of the cinema's revival.
The McGuffin Film & Television Society is a fully independent community organisation financed solely by membership fees, individual donations and its own fundraising activities. The Society is always interested to hear from potential volunteers who would like to assist with its organisation. If you have any special knowledge, abilities or talents - or even just a few hours to spare - please get in touch. Click here to email.
THE TOP 10 McGUFFIN SCREENINGS AT THE EMD 2001 - 2003
(Ranked in order of popularity - as determined by attendance & ticket sales)
1. The Smallest Show On Earth (Gala Night)
2. The Prisoner
3. Night On Earth (Jim Jarmusch Night)
5. 60s TV Night
6. It Was An Accident
7. Flower Of My Secret
8. Blood Simple
9. Wonderland (London On Film weekend)
10. Story Of Qui Ju
The McGuffins Silent Film Night was held on 24 May 2008
The John Garfield Swing Band performed live at The McGuffins Open Air Cinema 2008
paid tribute to Leytonstone born director Alfred Hitchcock with
screenings of "The Man Who Knew Too Much", "Sabotage"
and "Strangers On A Train".
was screened on June 1st 2001
Satyajit Ray's "The Adversary" was the McGuffin premiere
Fellini's autobiographical "Roma" proved very successful
at the EMD
East Is East
was shown as part of the World Cinema Day in July 2002
Qiu Ju" screening
(Sep 2001 - Season Two)
"The Prisoner" attracted a capacity audience to the EMD
in May 2002
organised a huge public demonstration at Waltham Forest Town Hall
to oppose the closure of the EMD
(12th November 2002)
to the Gala Last Night Show
(3rd January 2003)
The main stage
restored to its former glory by McGuffin members
acclaimed musician Simon Gledhill gave a memorable performance on
the Christie Organ
(3rd January 2003)
Terry Cole attempts to break another world record at the Gala Last
organised a large demonstration and vigil to mark the opening of
the Public Inquiry to determine the fate of the cinema
Festival" - Mayor Bob Bellam joins McGuffin members on stage
for the opening event of the first ever Walthamstow Arts Festival
with their award at the National Film Theatre on Londons South
Lenin was screened as part of the Leytonstone Festival 2004
500 people crowded
into central Walthamstow for an open air screening of the Coen Brothers
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
400 people attended
a meeting at Waltham Forest Theatre to debate
the future of the EMD
(10 July 2005)
Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Illusionist’ was screened at the Open Air Cinema
A capacity crowd filled the Victoria bar for the one day film festival ‘Waltham Forest On Film’
(5 January 2008)
600 residents protest outside the EMD Cinema
(18 April 2009)
Children and families demonstrate outside the EMD
(13 June 2009)
'Alfred Hitchcock in East London' was premiered at London Mayor Boris Johnson's Story of London Festival
(27 June 2009)
A Christmas demonstration outside the EMD
(13 December 2009)