Barking & Dagenham Local History
Where History is in the Past

Where History Is In The Past

Cinema's of Barking & Dagenham

 

Extracts from The GOULD GAZETTEER of England?s provincial THEATRES, MUSIC HALLS, PALACES of VARIETY, and KINEMATOGRAPH EXHIBITIONS

 

 

 

BARKING Essex 

 

BROADWAY THEATRE / BIOSCOPE PICTURE THEATRE Broadway, Barking. Opened 1914. 650 seats. By 1937 prop. W. Clayton. 1937 prop. P. Feldman. Re-named by 1940. 1941: (BTH) - Prop., Broadway Cinema (Barking) Ltd., 152/253 Minories, E.C.3. Phone Royal 6896. 560 seats. Continuous. Prices 6d. to 1s. Booked in London, Proscenium width 21ft. Phone Rippleway 3512. Station: Barking, L.M.S. Closed. Demolished late 1940s? area cleared.


Bioscope Cinema, July 14th 1913

 

CAPITOL East  Street  Opened 21st October 1929. Prop., W. F. Lesadd. Architect J. Aldridge. 1,266 seats. Organ: Standaart. To ABC 19th May 1930. By 1941: (WE) - Props., Associated British Cinemas, Ltd. 1,266 seats. Continuous. Booked at H.O. Phone Rippleway 2702. Station, Barking. Closed 12th December 1959. Demolished, later part of M&S. Shop closed by 1995.


 

Capitol Cinema, East Street, 1950s

 

CENTRAL HALL Mission East Street Prop., Methodist church. Used for film in 30s & 40s. 1,400 cap. Destroyed by enemy action January 1945. Ruins demolished.

 

CINEMATOGRAPH / PICTURELAND / Public Baths Concert Hall

 

ODEON / RIO Longbridge Road (RCA)  Opened 17th August 1935. Prop., Kay Bros. (Kessex Cinemas) Architect: George Coles. Props., Kessex Cinemas, Ltd., 142 Wardour Street, W1. Phone Gerrard 5252. 2,200 seats. Booked at H.O. Continuous, Pictures and Variety. Prices 6d. to 2s. 6d. Phone Grangewood 2900. Fitted 'Ardente' Stage Amplification. Sold to Rank?s G.C.F. Renamed Odeon 1945. Tripled 1974. Later 3 more screens. Closed 1998. Demolished, flats on site.


Odeon Cinema, Longbridge Road, Barking, 1993 (I. Vickers)

 

REGENT / ELECTRIC THEATRE & Vaudeville / ELECTRIC THEATRE de LUXE, this was located near the start of Ripple Road.  Opened 28th July 1910. Prop., A. E. Martin. Cap. 808. In the early years it was a music hall, and various artistes played there: silent movies were being shown too. It also served as a centre for social gatherings, and lectures. In 1914 it became a forces recruitment centre for WW1, with various meetings taking place.


After a brief closure for renovations the Electric Theatre reopened on the 12th September 1920  -Prop., Mr A.E. & Mr F. Martin. Res. Man., John Hill. Two shows nightly. It was known by locals as Martin's Electric Theatre. Two changes weekly. Station Barking, M.R.


It was sold and re-furbished, before re-opening as the Electric Theatre in September 1923. Props., Rose & Bockner. There was still 808 seats, all on one level. Continuous from 1 p.m. Two changes weekly, Prices 4d. to 1s. 3d. There was a fresh extension in 1928, with a brand new screen, in readiness for 'talkies' i.e. movies with sound: with artists like: Charlie Chaplin & Harold Lloyd. Phone Rip. 2657, Station, Barking, L.M.S. 


The year October 1931 saw the cinema badly damaged by fire in the early hours of the morning. However, it speedily recovered and was reopened again in under a month. It became the first Sunday cinema in Barking on the 11th June 1933.


In March 1955 it was sold to D. Freedman & was renamed Regent Cinema. The cap., was reduce to 750 seats. It was a very short venture and closed its doors on the 14th July 1956. The final films here were the Colditz Story with John Mills, and Arthur Askey, the Love Match. 


It then became the Regent Supermarket, opening its doors on the 5th July 1957. In February 1960 it became Barking Supermarket, which continued to trade until 1987.  Shortly after this, it was demolished for the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, which opened its doors on the 5th October 1990.


THEATRE-de-LUXE Bamford Road/Wakering Road.  Opened c.1914. Prop., Electric Theatres (1908) Ltd. 1922: prop. Arthur Blake. Closed c.1925. Workshop / secondhand furniture store / sausage factory. Demolished. Council almshouses. Demolished for ring road.

 

 

CHADWELL HEATH Essex

 

ODEON / GAUMONT (PALACE) / EMBASSY High Road (WE)  Opened 17th May 1934. Architect: Harry Weston. Tea lounge / ballroom. Organ: Compton 3/9 with surround on lift. Pictures & variety. To Gaumont October 1934 ? renamed GP 1935, shortened c.1937. By 1941 - Prop., Provincial Cinematograph Theatres, Ltd., New Gallery House, Regent Street, W1. Booked at H.O. Pictures and Variety, 1,806 seats. Prices 9d. to 1s. 10d. Proscenium width 40ft, stage, 24ft. Four dressing-rooms. Phone Seven Kings 3292. Station, Chadwell Heath. Re-named Odeon 1964. Closed 28th July 1966. Bingo.

 

N.B. The Odeon/Regent Becontree local station is given as Chadwell Heath

 

 

DAGENHAM Essex

 

GRANGE CINEMA London Road/Goresbrook Road (RCA)  Opened 1929. Prop., Kay Bros. 1,200 seats. Stage, two dressing rooms. 1941 - Props., Kessex Cinemas, Ltd., Film House, 142 Wardour Street, London W1. Phone Gerrard 5252. 1,200 seats. Booked at H.O. Continuous. Prices 9d. to 1s. 2d. Stage. Two dressing-rooms. Phone Rainham, Essex 193. Stations: Dagenham, Dock & Gale Street, L.M.S.; or Motor Transport. Leased to Odeon, taken over by Rank. Closed 24th August 1973. Demolished for supermarket.

 

ODEON / GAUMONT / HEATHWAY CINEMA The Heathway  Opened August 1936. Architect: George Coles. Neon by Major. 2,200 seats. Prop. Kessex Cinemas, Ltd., Film House, 142 Wardour Street, London W1. Phone Gerrard 5252. Prices 9d. to 1s. 10d. Phone Seven Kings 1030. Leased then taken over by Odeon. Rank form 1948. Re-named Gaumont 1950; Odeon 1964. Closed 20th February 1971. DIY store. Demolished 1983. Shops on site.

 

ODEON / MAYFAIR CINEMA Whalebone Lane South (WE)  Opened 9th December 1933. Prop., D. J. James? circuit. Architect: Leslie Kemp (Kemp & Tasker). (Open-air swimming pool & terraces @ rear.) Sold 1936. By 1941: Props., Eastern Cinemas (G.C.F.) Ltd., Film House, 142, Wardour Street, W1. Phone Gerrard 5252. 1,764 seats. Booked at H.O. Continuous. Prices 9d. to 1s. 10d, Stage; five dressing-rooms. Café attached. Phone Seven Rings 3000. Stations, Chadwell Heath, L.N.E.R. Fitted ?Ardente? Stage Amplification. To Odeon 1943. Re-named Odeon Chadwell Heath 1945, later Odeon Whalebone Lane, Dagenham. Closed 12th February 1972. Bingo. Demolished. Supermarket & offices.

 

PRINCESS Review Rd (WE)  Opened 8th October 1932. Architect: Robert Cromie. Prop, Princess (Dagenham) Ltd ? Lou Morris. 1,987 seats ? single floor. Organ: Compton 3c/7 with surround on lift. Café. Pictures & variety. To ABC 28th August 1933. By 1941: Controlled by Associated British Cinemas. Ltd. 30-31 Golden Square, W1. Phone Gerrard 7887. 1,987 seats. Closed 23rd April 1960, converted to Bowling.

 

VUE Leisure Park Cook Road 9 screens / 2,340 seats

 

 

Many thanks to Mervyn Gould who compiled this list and kindly posted it to me. Sadly Mervyn passed away at his home in Loughborough on October 29 2009 at the age of 62.

Obit., https://www.thestage.co.uk/features/obituaries/2010/mervyn-gould/


I have since added to his pages here on the borough, but unfortunately his legacy does not live on, as his website has been withdrawn. For those interested in the cinema and Mervyn's legacy there are a number of web pages to be found on the internet, under his name.