A new independent cinema in East London opened its doors to the public after the London Legacy Development Corporation helped bring an abandoned site back into use.

Sugarhouse Studios will showcase the best of independent cinema from East End films to classic Americana movies along with offering a casual Sunday cinema and supper club with resident chef Laura Marten.

The site in High Street, Stratford, is a former sign-writers workshop which is scheduled for demolition 2013 as part of a new residential and business development. Rather than leave the site dormant, the Legacy Corporation has been working with Assemble, a community interest company (CIC) made up of designers and architects, to make use of the space.

The front half of the building has 50 handmade seats by a team of 100 volunteers with a cafe and bar space. The other half contains Assemble’s studio and a large open-plan workshop for small scale design to furniture making and an event space for up to 200 people.

The Legacy Corporation is supporting the project as part of its work to make connections with local communities by spreading the benefits of regeneration from the Olympic Park.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said:

“We want to spread the benefits of regeneration from the Olympic Park to the surrounding area through creative, community-based projects like the new cinema at Sugarhouse Studios.

“Legacy plans are further ahead than any previous Olympic host city and this if great example of how forgotten parts of East London are being used as opportunities to bring people together.”

Sugarhouse Studios will kick off with a weekend programme with highlights including a screening of the classic McCabe & Miller, a Russian banquet feast and a screening of the cult 70’s British road movie, Radio On with an insight from the director Chris Petit.

A link to the full listings are in the notes to editors below.

Sugarhouse Studios is situated adjacent to Three Mills Island which is a short walk from Pudding Mill Lane and south of the Olympic Park. Assemble will work with community organisations to engage in shaping their local area including public spaces, yards and pedestrian access.

The building is part of Sugar House Lane site which was sold to LandProp by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, now London Legacy Development Corporation, last year, and is scheduled for redevelopment.