Walpole Cinema

18-22 Bond Street,
London, W5 5AA

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John_1946 on December 20, 2017 at 3:10 pm

I worked at the Walpole in the 60s as a trainee Projectionist under Ron Pask, alongside me was Andy Mackie, “Titch” Holloway and James “Jim” Haquoil. I moved with Ron to the Odeon Northfields and worked my way up to 2nd projjy as we were known as. I loved working with Ron, he was a tough outspoken man. Ex RAF he ran a very tight ship.

keiths on November 25, 2013 at 5:23 am

They had been replaced by Kalee’s – possibly 20’s – by 1968.

Malc1945 on March 8, 2012 at 6:54 am

This cinema had BTH Supers projectors in 1960 The chief was a man called Ron Pask a union steward. There was a lot of friction between the projectionist here and us at the Forum, Ealing which backed onto this cinema.

keiths on December 6, 2010 at 2:51 am

What a find. By the time I was involved with the place in 1970, the whole of the inside was painted black. If my memory serves me well, the picture was taken from a point in front of the steeply raked rear stalls. The cinema was actually quite large inside, the projection throw being around 100 feet. The ‘scope picture was like a postage stamp from the back, due to being the same width as the 1.33:1

kevinp on December 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

here’s a rare picture inside take by the great John Maltby


keiths on November 2, 2010 at 9:07 am


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.

LouiseC on May 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm

It’s an odd place for the frontage to end up!

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 23, 2010 at 4:58 am

A set of vintage photographs of the Walpole Cinema:
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keiths on August 7, 2009 at 8:47 am

Looking at the two pictures re-posted on Jan 5th, it’s not obvious from the front that the auditorium was actually quite a distance from the road/entrance, and was reached via a lengthy corridor. This entered the cinema at the base of the raked seats.

When I worked there for a short while, as a projection assistant, I seem to remember being told the throw was around 100 feet. The screen was quite narrow, and was not widened when ‘scope came along – presumably to be able to leave the two marble pillars that flanked it intact. This meant that, rather than the VERTICAL masking moving in and out to change to 'scope, the HORIZONTAL masking moved up and down instead. Another bi-product of this, was that a longer focal length standard lens was required when the anamorph was swung in front than was used for 'flat’ ratio films. The ads and trailers were always ‘flat’, so were assembled on a reel by themselves. As soon as the ‘scope feature started, the lenses and gates would be swapped over, ready for the first changeover. During the last reel, the lenses and gate had to be swapped again, ready for the next – continuous in those days – showing. The carbon rods also had to be checked, and changed every couple of reels per projector, so MAJOR problems ensued if the first or last reel of the feature was a bit short. For obvious reasons, focus could be a bit 'iffy’ at the first changeover after the lenses had been changed, but a bit of judicious marking of the lens mount, and a lot of practise, kept this to a minimum.

woody on March 25, 2009 at 3:45 pm

apparently this facade is to be moved again and incorporated in the redevelopment of the Empire (former Forum) cinema into a 16 screen megaplex

polperrobrian on December 30, 2006 at 3:14 pm

I now have photos of the Walpole under construction – as a roller rink and being converted to a cinema!


keiths on January 12, 2006 at 5:48 am

Although there was no balcony, the seating wasn’t all on the flat. The rear third was raked from ground level up to just under the projection box. A sufficiently tall person could cast a shadow on the screen, and ‘shadow puppets’, courtesy local schoolboys, would often appear during mattinees!

keiths on November 11, 2005 at 2:51 am

I helped out here for a while in 1970, and I learnt how to do changeovers properly at the Walpole! The box wasn’t actually attached to the theatre, so, when it rained, the projectionist had to wipe the spots off the glasses between them. The girls who worked in the dance studio next door used to make tea for the staff. I went back there when it was a carpet store. It was amazing to see that they’d cleaned up the screen surround to reveal two beautiful marble pillars, which were not evident before – we thought they were black!

Jasonmullen on September 22, 2005 at 1:45 am

Laurel and Hardy appeared in person on stage at this Cinema to introduce one of their movies in the 1930’s. (They were in town because Stan Laurel was visiting his Father who by then lived in nearby West Ealing)Has any one ever seen any pictures of this event?

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 20, 2005 at 12:12 am

A recent photograph of the Walpole Cinema facade, relocated to its new site on the side of a building here:
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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 15, 2005 at 12:00 pm

A vintage 1949 exterior photograph of the Walpole Theatre here:
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A close up of the entrance in about 1971, the end is near…
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