ABC Kensal Rise

Chamberlayne Road and Kilburn Lane,
London, NW10

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Bill_Gibbs on December 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm

The map at the top of the entry is incorrect. The cinema stood at the junction of Chamberlayne Rd and Kilburn Lane. The Google maps street view is correct (a picture of the houses that now replace the cinema)!

Bill_Gibbs on April 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

The photograph is of the premier (local) of 2001. The mayor and several local dignitaries attended and the event was covered by the Kilburn times. (Hence the photograph) The event won first prize in the ABC publicity competition, the manager (Wally Jones) won a new Ford Capri and was promoted to the new ABC that had opened in Falmouth. I was the projectionist at the time.

Your explanation of the cinemas evolution is almost “spot on” The foyer of the new ABC was the auditorium of the old cinema and still had projection portholes from what was now the manager’s office. The stained glass window (halfway up the circle staircase) was the loudspeaker gallery of the original that had its 1.37:1 screen laced directly onto the front wall. The entrance lobby was in turn the foyer of the old building. The entire original was “terraced into Chamberlain Rd and closely resembled the Gate (Notting Hill) The "new” cinema was built on spare land at the rear of the main road. Your one error was the original seating capacity which was around 300 and increased to 1600 when the new building opened.

I have the original opening brochure that gives details of everything including the cinema orchestra. Like most cinemas the stage was lost at the introduction of cinemascope. At the time of its closure it was one of only a few cinemas to still be running film on 2000ft reels. I also believe it was the only ABC to be heated by coke boilers. Although oil fired heating was installed on the reconstruction, it was removed at the outbreak of the Second World War.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 24, 2008 at 3:24 pm

A vintage photograph from April 1969, of the ABC Palace Cinema. The original facade has been ‘modernised’:
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