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SE1's Lost Cinemas

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Tuesday 6 May 2008 10.07am
This arrived in my inbox today. It's free and I thought it was worth wider publication - although I'm sure James will have it somewhere else.

Please join us for the next screening as part of the Community Film Club: Monday May 12, 2008 @ 7:00pm
The ‘Piccadilly' of South London

A fascinating illustrated talk looking at the history of the varied buildings of entertainment in and around the Elephant & Castle led by Richard Norman of the Cinema Theatre Association. From Victorian times, promoters described the up and coming area of Elephant and Castle as “the Piccadilly of South London”, reflecting its commercial potential. The building of the spectacular Trocadero Cinema (1930-1963) further enhanced the developer's dream. The Trocadero (cinema theatre), and its replacement Odeon have been recognised as being of major architectural importance. Supported by its mighty Wurlitzer organ, the ‘Troc' offered South Londoners stage and screen entertainment of West End quality at affordable prices; it was an outstanding success. The introduction of television changed cinema-going habits forever - however the Trocadero became a “white elephant” closing on 19 October 1963 and was demolished for re-development of the area. A smaller replacement Odeon (1966-1988), was built on part of the Trocadero site.

The talk will be supported with the film 'The Elephant will Never Forget' (1953) which is a film that marks a fond farewell to London's trams by charting the last week of London trams in 1952.

Doors open 18.30, programme starts 19.00 (Programme Duration : 86 minutes)

Please use the Turbine Hall entrance and staff will direct you to the Starr Auditorium from there. Free refreshments will be available before the film.

Members are entitled to:
Free entry to all film club screenings
Regular Film Club mailings & programme notes
An opportunity to discuss films over a drink with other local people
Watch films in comfortable cinema surroundings

Please note: If you have completed a membership form, your details will automatically be added to the membership list; you will not receive a membership card or number. This email bulletin is the confirmation of your membership. There is no need to book a place; just turn up on the evening of the screening. If you are coming as part of a large group please let us know in advance by calling 020 7401 5176. If you no longer want to be a member please email: - with 'unsubscribe' as your title.

Community Film Club
Community Initiatives
Tate Modern
Starr Auditorium
Tuesday 6 May 2008 2.51pm
I intend to go, it sounds great and would take me back to my younger days...
Thursday 5 June 2008 2.03pm
Denis Norden unveiled a plaque at the site of the Trocadero yesterday:

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Thursday 5 June 2008 11.53pm
Curiously enough, the local history feature in the South London Press last week had a photo of that site before the Troc.

I had no idea that the Troc actually replaced part of a vast Italianite range of buildings constucted as a department store that had gone bust in one of the business cycles of the late Victorian era.

The Newington Causeway part was later occupied by a jewellers.
Friday 5 September 2008 3.44pm
Hi Everyone A very interesting discussion, I lived in the ''BOROUGH' for many years and one of my greatest pleasures was going to the
;' DOLLY MIXTURES' as we called the pictures in those days.The TROCADERO and ABC ELEPHANT were my favorite cinemas.I saw many of the TROCs stage shows in the 50s which featured the big dance bands of the day Ted Heath Ken Macintosh Cyril Stapleton etc. I understand
Frank Sinatra even appeared there in 1953. The resident organist in my day was a chap named Rudi Lewis Best Regards
Saturday 6 December 2008 10.29am
Whilst perusing the links from the Tommy Steele thread I ended up here and followed the story regarding the Cinema in Borough High St, I hadn't realised there was an historical connection for the Roxy. The cinema in question, The London Bridge Picture Palace and Cinematograph Theatre had more significance than perhaps is realised today if you read on here:
Friday 26 February 2010 7.09pm
I know it's not in SE1, but the former ABC Camberwell on Camberwell Road is mentioned earlier in the thread and is only 5 minutes by bus from Elephant & Castle.

This Grade II listed former cinema, which had over 2000 seats, was converted into a bingo hall in the 1970s, but remains largely unchanged inside retaining its wonderful Art Deco interior.

The bingo hall closed last weekend and locally there was briefly a lot of hope that it might be converted into a multi-purpose culture and leisure facility that could be used by the whole community and attract visitors from across Southwark and Lambeth.

However, yesterday we found out that it was being bought by the Redeemed Christian Church of God for conversion to a place of worship. This will require planning permission for a change of use, and a campaign is already under way to oppose this in order to allow the opportunity to establish an inclusive cultural and leisure venue for use by the whole community. It really is a fantastic opportunity to bring back to use a venue that could be used for cinema, theatre, concerts and more

If you'd like to find out more or show your support, have a look at the campaign website or Facebook page.
Saturday 27 February 2010 1.40pm
Great campaign James and a treasure worth saving (no pun intended).

However, I am remaining on the sidelines as I note the illustrious People's Republic of Southwark appear to be involved in this. The 'Republic' is two nutters and a (terrible) website. Best to keep your distance from that group, who are already spreading a lot of bile regarding the religious side of life on this one. Argue the space, not God. Nobody will win the God bit, and you could end up losing the main prize.
Saturday 27 February 2010 2.58pm
Thanks for your response Royalelephant. I don't want to hijack this thread for campaigning purposes, but I would like to address the comment you make about campaigning for the space not against God.

I agree with you entirely. The campaign is deliberately a positive campaign to keep the building for leisure and culture use. It is certainly not an anti-religion campaign, only an argument about whether it is desirable for this large, landmark building to be lost as a venue that is open to all regardless of their religious beliefs and could promote arts and culture locally. In fact, the campaign began several days before any of the people involved knew who was buying the bingo hall. I won't deny that there are some who are uncomfortable with the beliefs of the RCCG, but equally there are others who are sympathetic, but feel that this particular location is inappropriate as a place of worship.

I hope you and others won't be put off by the fact that you disagree with the politics of some of the campaign's supporters. So far, in the one week since the campaign began, we already have Liberal Democrat, Labour and Green Party councillors amongst our supporters. I'm sure we'd have Conservative councillors supporting us too, but there aren't many in this area!

I'm sure you'll find someone whose political views you disagree with amongst our supporters, but the one thing we all do agree on is that the best thing for Camberwell and the local population is to have this historic building used an inclusive leisure and culture venue that will enhance Camberwell's deserved reputation as artistic and creative centre.
Sunday 28 February 2010 8.43pm
Has anyone tried
theres some great pics in there of Bermondsey,including cinemas

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