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Lost Theatres and Cinemas of Camberwell

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Camberwell New Road

Camberwell Road 

Denmark Hill


Camberwell saw an explosion of theatres and music halls in the 19th Century. In the early half of the 19th Century cinemas and picture houses took over as the main source of entertainment. (The rise of television the 1950s the sounded their death knell). Lost Cinemas is part of the Camberwell Guide  with information on local history, property, cafes, restaurants & shops.

New Grand Hall opened as an Indoor skating rink at 315-317 Camberwell New RoadSE5 0TF map
1909 Became New Grand Hall cinema (814 seats). 
Conversion by Frank Matcham (1854-1920).
1949 Renamed The Grand.
1968 Grand Cinema closed. 
Bingo hall.
1983 Became a snooker hall.
2014 Demolished.
Site use: Triangle Court flats.

1940 June: Regal Cinema opened at 254-272 Camberwell RoadSE5 0DP map
Designed by Leslie H. Kemp (1889-1997) with 2,470 seats.
Sept: Suffered bob damage in The Blitz.
Oct: Reopened.
1961 Renamed ABC Cinema.
1973 Cinema closed down. 
Later a Bingo Hall.
2011 Bingo hall became a church.


1896 Oriental Palace of Varieties opened on corner of Denmark Hill/Orpheus Street, SE5.
Owned by music hall artist Dan Leno.
1899 Oriental Palace of Varieties rebuilt as Camberwell Palace with 1,553 seats.
Designed by Ernest A.E. Woodrow (1860-1937).
Tinted photo below (circa 1905).
1932 Became Palace Cinema.
1943 Closed as a cinema & became a variety theatre.
1950s Added fan dancers in style of Windmill Theatre.
1956 Palace demolished.


Denmark Hill

Denmark Hill

Denmark Hill

Wells Way

1914  Golden Domes Picture Theatre opened at 28-32 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RZ map
1952 Re-named Rex Cinema 
1956 Rex Cinema re-named as Essoldo Cinema.
1964 Essoldo Cinema closed.
Current use: supermarket.

1910 Bijou Theatre opened at 37 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RS. 
Entrance was though a shop front with an auditorium at the back (Orpheus Street).
1915 Bijou Theatre closed down.

1894 Metropole opened as Theatre & Playhouse on junction of Coldharbour Lane & Denmark Hill. 
Later became Camberwell Empire. 
1939 Camberwell Empire demolished.
Camberwell Odeon built on the site with 1,484 seats in the stalls and 986 seats in the circle. 
Entrance now at 90 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RX map
Designed by Andrew Mather (1891-1938) & Keith P. Roberts.
1975 Cinema closed.
1981 Became Dickie Dirts Jeans emporium where the House of Love played live.
1993 Building demolished
Site use: Foyer area became a homeless centre. 

Rest of building a restaurant.   

1913 Camberwell Central Cinema opened on Wells Way, SE5 0PX map.
1918 Renamed Coronet Cinema.
c1948 Closed.
1958 Demolished.
Site use: Part of Burgess Park.

Camberwell History Timeline

c) South London Guide 2023