ABC West Ealing

1 Northfield Avenue,
London, W13 9RH

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ABC West Ealing

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located on Northfield Road, just around the corner from Uxbridge Road in the west London suburb of Ealing. The West Ealing Kinema was built in 1913 on the site of the former Ealing Dean Cottage Hospital. It was rebuilt as the Lido Cinema in 1928 to designs by the original architect, and a Compton 2Manual/5Ranks organ was installed on 15th October 1928. It retained the Lido Cinema name until it was taken over by the Star Cinemas group in the 1970’s.

The stalls were converted into a bingo club, and the circle was enclosed and converted into two small cinemas known as Studio 1 and Studio 2. Due to the small size of the original circle, periscope projection was not an option, and the projectors were mounted at an angle of almost 45 degrees. As the screens were parallel to the back wall, this resulted in unimaginable picture distortion. In the 1980’s it was taken over by the Cannon Group and re-named Cannon.

The bingo hall eventually closed, and the space was converted into a snooker hall. The cinemas were last known as ABC screening regular films and this closed on 6th March 1997. It was taken over by an independent screening ‘Bollywood’ films, first known as the Belle Vue and lastly as the Gosai Cinema, which closed in spring 2001. The building sat empty for a while and was demolished in September 2004. A block of flats has now been built on the site.

Contributed by keith spillett

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

keiths
keiths on February 16, 2006 at 3:57 am

The projection box was actually located ABOVE the original circle, accessed via a spiral staircase. I believe this to have been the case even when there was only one auditorium – the original screen was certainly raked at one heck of an angle! In the ‘Studio 1&2’ years, the box housed a pair of Westar projectors, complete with long-play towers, so goodness knows how they got those up there.

Jasonmullen
Jasonmullen on March 28, 2006 at 8:53 am

It wasn’t that bad! Though maybe the years have given me a rose tinted view of the place. For some reason I saw a lot of films here including most of the James Bond series and still remember well the climb to the first floor box office to buy tickets. The cinema didn’t have screen tabs, instead there were those lava lamp oil patterns that spiralled over the screen while you waited for the trailers. Far out man!

keiths
keiths on April 10, 2006 at 11:52 pm

After twinning, both cinemas DID have screen tabs in the form of rolls of black material of some sort – approximately 4 inches wide – which popped over the top of the screen, when needed, and uncurled themselves vertically. After a few years they stopped working properly – Studio 1 customers got their money back one night when one of the tabs wouldn’t raise for a ‘scope presentation – and operators 'Star Group’, not being well renowned for the quality of their maintainance, didn’t bother fixing them. A friend of mine, who worked in another Star cinema at the time, believes that the offending tab was eventually removed using a pair of scissors, so they were never used in taht screen again.

keiths
keiths on April 10, 2006 at 11:58 pm

Sorry for any confusion resulting from my previous comments. What I was actually referring to was, of course, the screen MASKING, not the non-existant tabs! Even the oil-wheels that Jason mentioned weren’t used for great periods of time when the lamps blew, and spares were not quick enough in coming from head-office.

woody
woody on April 11, 2006 at 1:42 am

Here is a photo of the cinema (scanned so not high quality) taken around 1999/2000 when it was the Gosai

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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 4, 2009 at 8:49 am

Photographed as the Cannon in 1990:
View link

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