southlondon the definitive guide to South East & South West London

Lost Theatres and Cinemas of the Elephant & Castle

SLG Home

New Kent Road

New Kent Road

New Kent Road

Walworth Road

1930 Trocadero cinema opened at 1-17 New Kent Road, SE1 6SZ
Designed by George Coles (1884-1963) with 3,500 seats.
1935 Trocadero taken over by Gaumont-British chain.
1953 Frank Sinatra appeared at the Trocadero.
1956 Police were called to break up a crowd of teenagers following the showing of the film Rock Around The Clock at the Trocadero.
1958 Buddy Holly appeared at the Trocadero.
1963 Trocadero closed down due to development of Elephant & Castle.
2008 Dennis Norden unveiled a plaque for Trocadero. Norden had been an assistant manager there in 1940.
Site Use: Alexander Fleming House (now Metro Central Heights)

1966 Odeon cinema opened on part of site of Trocadero at 1 New Kent Road, SE1 6TE.
Designed by Erno Goldfinger (1902-1987) with 1,000 seats.
1981 Odeon became a Coronet.
1988 Cinema closed down and demolished.
Site Use: Car park then Metro Central Heights housing.

1872 Theatre Royal opened at 24-28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ.
Designed by Messrs Dean & Son and Matthews.
1878 Theatre Royal burnt down in a fire. 
1879 Replaced by Elephant & Castle Theatre
Designed by Frank Matcham (1854-1920).
1902 Building amended.
1926 London After Dark film (from 1:00)
1928 Elephant & Castle Theatre became Theatre Royal cinema.
1932 Taken over by ABC cinema chain and rebuilt.
Designed by William Riddle Glen (1885-1950) in Art Deco style.
1941 Suffered bomb damage.
195? Theatre Royal re-named ABC Cinema.
1967 Cinema modernised with fa├žade covered over in blue metal sheeting.
1981 Converted to a triple screen cinema.
1986 ABC Cinema became Cannon cinema. 
1988 Cannon cinema became Coronet cinema.
1999 Coronet closed down as a cinema.
2003 Re-opened as Coronet Theatre music venue.
2017 Coronet Theatre closed.
2021 Building demolished.


1910 Elephant & Castle Cinematograph Theatre opened at 47-51 Walworth Road, SE1 with 800 seats.
1927 Re-named Elephant Picture Theatre 
and later the Rialto.
c. 1940 Cinema closed.

Elephant & Castle History Timeline

c) South London Guide 2022