148-150 King's Road,
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Locating the west London district of Chelsea. Opened in 1910 as the Chelsea Picture Playhouse, the architect was Felix Joubert and seating was provided for 394 on a single floor. In the early-1920’s it was known as the Electric Cinema Theatre and had this name set into the tiled facade.
By 1937 it had been taken over by Classic Cinemas Ltd. and became one of the first to be operated by this chain that specialised in repertory screenings of classic Hollywood films. It was re-named the Classic Cinema and by 1953 it was operated by Lou Morris, retaining the Classic name, but by 1958 it had been taken back by Classic Cinemas. The facade was reduced in height and given a ‘modern’ look which it retained until closing on 4th August 1973. A typical ‘Classic’ double bill programme of Edward G. Robinson starring in two films, “Little Ceasar” and “Bullets or Ballots” were the final films.
The original stage production of “Rocky Horror Show” starring Tim Curry was transfered from the Royal Court Theatre to the Classic Cinema building for three months. After that, it went onto greater success at the slightly larger King’s Road Theatre along the road, and later into the West End at the Comedy Theatre.
After the short run of “Rocky Horror Show” ended, the building was demolished. Today a branch of Boots the chemist’s shop and offices have been built on the site.
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