The Beatles at Walthamstow Granada

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 16 June 2003

One of the great things about the web is its ability to capture these sort of memories for as long as standards and servers hold up to the task:

"I was 14 years old, and with several friends from school we queued all night outside the Walthamstow Granada to buy tickets for a Beatles concert. The police kept the waiting crowd across the street until the cinema had its last show. Then they stopped all the traffic and allowed us to rush across the street to form another queue for the night.

Tickets went on sale at 7:30am Sunday morning and I left clutching a third row middle seat ticket. The concert was amazing, although we couldn't hear anything just all of us screaming. We stood on the seats and waved scarves - anything to attract a Beatle's attention."

Lesley Blavins, San Francisco

This is from a BBC News Online article "Snapshots of a Century". I believe, from what she has told me, that my mum was at that show - although she never told me about the police being there the night before!

Sadly there is no more cinema or entertainment at the venue. Once the Walthamstow Granada, it recently became the EMD Cinema, and has been sold off to a religious group to be turned into a "church". There are a few bits on the web devoted to saving the cinema - including a short history of the cinema and an article from walthamstowvillage.net, and also a news story about the sale - controversial religious group buys up cinema.

But in the end it still leaves us with the fact that Waltham Forest is the only London Borough without a cinema.

5 Comments

I was at that concert too. It was October 24 1964, my 12th birthday. I sported a Beatle haircut and jacket - must have looked really silly. I remember too, when the Beatles came on, people pushed the seats into the 'up' position - as in when they were not being used, and stood on them to see. No Health and Safety considerations in those days! Some people threw jelly babies, because one of the Beatles - dont recall which one - had said he liked them.

I feel like as if I were on a time travel...people who had experienced same concert on that same day meet each other on the internet! 1964 is far past for me, but you are sharing same memories...

Hi Guys
I am a huge fan and collector of Beatles and memorabilia.
Living in Walthamstow I remember the Granada when it was a cinema as a kid I was born in 66.
I was always trying to see or obtain any memorabilia connected with either concert there.
I have managed to get a ticket stub programme and a few photos from the shows.
If anyone has any more please contact me.
Thanks
Andrew Brooks

Hi,the beatles played twice at the granada , walthamstow, once on 24th may 1963 and once on 24th october 1964 !!! I love the beatles and want to buy all your beatles items, including tickcets and programmes, autographs and novelty items, please contact me on sales@beatlecollector.co.uk, many thanks !

I also saw both shows at the Granada when the Beatles were there. The first time I believe Billy Fury topped the bill and the Beatles topped the first half. Everyone was asking who they were (The Beatles). I had front row seats the second time thanks to a friend lining up all night. What a great experience. Sad to see the Granada in bad shape now.

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