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This is worth a watch.
Although the film this link connects to concerns the building of the Forum cinema around the corner, the exterior of the Walpole features quite prominently in it.
This place is what cinema should be all about. Technologically up to date, but with character by the bucket-load.
This is what it looks like in September 2010
This is a link to a British Pathe film about the original building of the cinema. It also contains footage of the side view of the Walpole cinema, which was around the corner.
Unfortunately it was an AWFUL dump, compared to other screens a short walk away. Also, parking was a great problem too. I don’t think too many tears were shed over this one, I’m afraid!
I’ve driven past here hundreds of times – I never realised what an absolute gem it is inside!
It was almost obscene how quickly this place was demolished after closure.
What a great idea. Shame it’s not in a reopened ‘classic’ venue, but it’s GOT to be good for the future public exhibition of ‘film’
This is TRULY tragic, though I can’t say I’m surprised. Unfortunately, buildings in Southall tend to be renovated to a high standard, having masses of money thrown at them, but then allowed to fall into disrepair. When the conversion was undertaken in 2000, a Holly/Bolly mixture of programming was promised, that being one of the main criteria for English Heritage’s involvement. Quite understandably, given the demographic, this never happened, and the closest cinema for Hounslow area residents remains ‘Cineworld – The Movies’ in Feltham.
I drove past the Himalaya Palace yesterday, and even the boarding that was in situ LAST week has been boarded over, so presumably vandals have been at the place already. Oddly enough for a closed/boarded theatre, all the signage is still in place.
The original planning approval was dependent on the developers being able to guarantee completion of the project, so this doesn’t surprise me at all. My only concern about the whole thing concerns parking in the Ealing area – becoming virtually non-existent – so where 16 screens worth of punters are going to go is a bit of a puzzle!
Are the film projectors still there? I remember a hybrid show some years ago, when the Blues Brothers appeared live on stage preceeded by a screening of the original film.
Follow this link to have a very sad look inside……
We believe it must have closed in 1996
Of course, what I MEANT to say was that screens 1 and 2 were periscoped, and screen 3 was direct projected from below floor level. Sorry for the momentary aberration!
A friend of mine was one of the projectionists here at the time of conversion to 4 screens, and I spent quite a lot of time visiting. The conversion was achieved in a stupidly short time, and the cinemas reopened whilst the projection area for screens 1-3 was effectively a building site – the floor was unsurfaced, for example! This resulted in the trashing of a brand new print of ‘The Goodbye Girl’ during it’s first two weeks of release, due to the amount of dust and grit still floating around in the atmosphere, which went down VERY well with the distributors. The positioning of the actual screen at the front of the former circle, meant that the projector had to be sunk into the projection room floor to get a straight throw at it. Although screens 2 and 3 were periscoped, as I remember, this wasn’t an option in the new Studio 1.
Studio 4 had been a swimming pool at some time during its life, and the projection room, which must have been the swimming attendant’s office, was still tiled accordingly.
The projectors in Studios 1-3 were new(ish) Westar 2000’s, Studio 4 being driven by a dual guage Westar 35-70mm machine from the Prince Charles, though it was never able to show 70mm in its new home. All screens had Westar longplay towers.
I wonder if the DP70’s were still there when it closed?
Well, that IS some good news for the new year.
Thanks very much, I’ll have a look at that.
Some extraordinary photos are to be found here – including the two projection boxes, containing bits of Cinemeccanica and Kalee lamphouses.
I worked near the green in the mid 1980’s, and used to shop in the Woolworth’s store on an almost daily basis. I never realised it could EVER have once been a cinema.
This is even BEYOND being sad. How can local authorities allow this kind of dereliction without intervening? There should be laws in place enabling councils to slap heavy fines on owners who allow their property to get into this sort of state.
Not difficult to see why it’s grade 1 listed, is it?
My previous link has become corrupted. THIS is what the Odeon looks like in 2009.
Is the projection via a mirror, or is the projection equipment modified to handle prints back to front? The only other instance I’ve seen of rear projection in a cinema was in Koln, in Germany, where the box was alongside the auditorium. You could actually SEE the projector through a glass wall during the show – VERY intriguing!