Gaumont Kentish Town
197 Kentish Town Road,
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Architects: John Stanley Beard
Previous Names: Palace Cinema
Located in the inner north-west London district of Kentish Town. The Palace Cinema was designed by a very young John Stanley Beard, an architect who went on to design many cinemas in the London area. It opened on 8th December 1913 with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The House of Temperley” which was the tenth British full-length feature film to be made.
Seating was provided in stalls and circle and Beard had designed a very pretty cinema that had a highly decorative front entrance, which was covered in terra-cotta detail and an auditorium that had panelled walls with columns topped by naked female figures.
It was initially operated by Palatial Cinemas Ltd, but was taken over by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) in 1920. From February 1929 PCT were taken over by Gaumont British Cinemas and they continued to operate it through the rest of its life. It was re-named Gaumont in 1948.
The Gaumont closed on 4th April 1959 with Sophia Loren in “The Black Orchid” and Charles Bronson in “When Hell Broke Loose”. Part of the building was demolished and a warehouse built on the site. The decorative facade was removed and the former entrance is now used by the Camden Community Health Council while the remainder of the auditorium has been converted into Camden Law Centre offices.
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