Saturday 22 January 2011

Cinema and film clubs booming in South-East London

From time to time I've written about alternative cinema events around South-East London ( and here). Well now there's a new blog which will keep us up-to-date with all the cinema action.

'South East London Film Clubs' says it's a "a portal for South East London film clubs & societies and community cinemas". It covers cinema clubs such as the Brockley Jack Film Club, Café Crema, Crystal Palace Pictures, Deptford Film Club, Dulwich Gallery Film and the Hither Green Hall. It usefully collects together all the up and coming films at these venues, with a nice little write-up too. (Update: Ah, I see now elsewhere that the South East London Film Clubs blog is run by the Brockley Jack Film Club)

Then while I was reading on this site about the lack of a single cinema in Crystal Palace, lo and behold an article popped up on the East London Lines website about how Bromley Council have just given the go ahead for a cinema there to Future Projections, a cinema development company.

Sadly we are without a cinema in Eltham now. There used to be three apparently. The first was the old 1930s Coronet cinema on the Well Hall Road roundabout which has been closed for ages now and there are plans to redevelop it, though possibly with some sort of cinema included. The second, the original Odeon cinema on Eltham Hill, opened in 1938, and which has long been a bingo hall. There is a wonderfully detailed account of the Odeon here, with great old photos, by Eltham's well-known historian John Kennett.  I wonder where in the Eltham the third cinema was?


Londonbackpacker said...

Google is always your friend :-)

Raven said...

Very good, thanks. What a useful site that is.

So, our third Eltham cinema (although turns out it was the first, if you know what I mean) was:

"Located on the corner of Eltham High Street and Passey Place. The Palace Cinema opened on 28th August 1922. It was an imposing building, somewhat looking like an old variety theatre, rather than a purpose built cinema.

In 1934, the interior was remodeled by architect Robert Cromie and it re-opened on 13th August 1934."

The shoe shop Clarkes and offices are on that site now.

Raven said...

I've just checked out the photos of this old cinema - amazing:

A vintage photograph of the Palace Cinema while under the control of Union Cinemas chain in 1936:

A vintage photograph of the Palace Cinema in 1946:

Photographed as the ABC in 1972:

Marion said...

I moved to Eltham in the early 1960s and the High Street cinema was in use then. I'm pretty sure that it was where Iceland is now. Next time I'm in the High Street, I'll stop to have a good look at the building to see if any part of it is left.
I have found this photo.....
..which clearly shows a cinema on the corner of the High Street and Passey Place but I could have sworn the cinema was a bit further up. Am I dreaming?

Raven said...

Wow, early 60s. The changes in Eltham you've seen (and the v. interesting photos you must have...ahem). It would be good to know what you see in the High Street. The Flickr links above def. show it on the High St/Passey Place corner.