Does anyone know of a list of old disappeared cinemas in SE1 (Southwark & Lambeth in general, really)? I'm looking to compile a list of all cinemas, picture houses, etc that were in the area, especially between and during the wars. I do plan to spend some time in the library next week trawling through old Kellys Directories, I just hoped there might already be a neat listing somewhere to get me started painlessly...
I think someone is writing a book on this subject.
I saw a poster in Southwark Local Studies Library [which seems to have been rebranded as the Local History Library] appealing for information on Southwark's lost cinemas (and theatres and music halls). I did note down the email address but I am not at my desk so I don't have the details to hand.
That wasn't me, but another cunning literary plan just bit the dust :-(
I'm still interested though (many more cunning plans where that came from!). I just read the fascinating overall history on screenonline's web site, which inevitably referred mostly to West End sites - http://www.screenonline.org.uk/film/cinemas/index.html - and it set me thinking (always a bit dangerous).
I had a quick look around BritMovie ( http://www.britmovie.co.uk/ ) but no clues yet. There are a few good and detailed web sites relating to the history of Brighton and Hove cinema for example, so I was hoping to find something similar (or get the info to throw something together online myself). And they had just dozens and dozens down there, so I figure there must be a good list for this busy part of town, especially near the main railway stations (soldiers & travellers needing entertainment, news on way off somewhere distant for example).
This is just a an initial list - a first go, after a quick bit of research in the week, but I thought it might whet a few appetites and stir a few memories. A lot more research to do, obviously I would like to add dates, pictures and anecdotes to this very elementary listing (as well as increase the numbers). I feel a few Saturday mornings at the local studies library, BFI and Colindale (BL's newspaper archive) are ahead! Still, it keeps me off the streets... The idea of limiting it to SE1 has been stretched of course, there are some here from SE11, SE17, SE15 and SE16 here, but plenty of time later to get picky...
If you are quick you might get to see the last chunk of the Regal in Kennington Road before it comes down. When I passed by yesterday there was only a corner left. I don't know what is going up instead - but I assume luxury flats. It usually is.
There are some photos (including the interior) from the recent demolition of the Regal (more recently known as the Gala Bingo Hall) on this page
(there's also a potted history at the bottom of the page):
The Mercia Cinema Society would be another source of general information - they have enthusiasts across the country, not just ancient Mercia!
(Sorry I would have sworn I had posted a link to their homepage earlier on this thread)