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Opera House Tunbridge Wells

The Opera House, as its name suggests, was not originally a cinema at all, but in common with the ABC and two other cinemas in the town was operated for a time by Union Cinemas. According to Mervyn Collard, the building was still in use as a theatre in the days when it showed films and hence films were back-projected from the rear of the stage.

Opera House Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
Opera House Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
Opera House Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
Opera House Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front

ABC Tunbridge Wells

The 1,600-seat Ritz - "Kent's most luxurious cinema" and a part of the Union Cinemas circuit - opened on 3rd December 1934: when I took the photographs in early 2006 - just a few weeks prior to the building's planned demolition - there was still visible, painted on the rear of the building, a faded "Ritz" sign. The first programme, which punters could watch for 3d, was headed by Gracie Fields' Sing As We Go. It become the Essoldo in 1954.

ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - detail
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - rear
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - rear with visible "Ritz" sign
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - attached shops with auditorium behind
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - attached shops with auditorium behind
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - front
ABC Tunbridge Wells 2006 - aerial showing layout

Odeon Kensington

The Odeon Kensington started out life in 1926 as The Kensington and then renamed the Majestic in 1940 (in case German parachutists dropped in and used it to identify where they were) Its then-revolutionary architecture - a smart, portal-like opening, designed by Julian Randolph Leathart and W.F. Granger (the first of their four cinemas for Joseph Mears' small London circuit) was a deliberate attempt to move away from the fairground origins of cinema and give cinemagoing a new respectability.

Odeon Kensington 2006 - front
Odeon Kensington 2006 - front and side
Odeon Kensington 2006 - front detail
Odeon Kensington 2006 - side detail
Odeon Kensington 2006 - front detail

OldCinemas.co.uk has been on a break

OldCinemas.co.uk runs on Drupal, a popular open source content management system. In October 2014, it was announced that there was a critical security flaw in Drupal. Like administrators of many other sites, I took OldCinemas.co.uk offline as soon as possible. Unfortunately, initial checks showed that the security flaw may have been exploited to some extent.

Cinema news roundup (May 2014)

Cinema news roundup (April 2014)

Cinema news roundup (January 2014)

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