144 The Broadway,
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Located in the southwest London district of Wimbledon. The Elite Picture Palace opened on 7th February 1920. It was designed by architect Lt. Col. James E. Adamson. The name ‘Elite’ was enscribed in stone at the top of the building and the brick and stone facade had a semi-circular ‘bow’ shaped extension in the centre which contained the main entrance and windows above. Inside the auditorium seating was provided for 1,005. There was a small organ which was manufactured by a company named Reeves.
In 1925 a new organ was installed, a Christie 3Manual/7Rank theatre organ, which was opened by Steff Langston. In 1927 it was taken over by the J.F. Emery Circuit, but they only operating it for a year. 1928 the cinema was enlarged to the plans of architect Robert Cromie and it now had an increase of 280 extra seats giving a total seating capacity of 1,285 when it re-opened in September 1928.
In February 1930 it was taken over by the small Lou Morris chain of cinemas and closed for re-decoration in July 1931, re-opening on 3rd August 1931 with Claudette Colbert in “Manslaughter”. In October 1935, the Elite Cinema was sold to the large chain of Associated British Cinemas (ABC).
ABC closed the Elite in mid-summer 1964 and the auditorium was completely re-constructed to the plans of their house architect C.J. Foster. Metal cladding was attached to the facade and the central ‘bow’ section was given a glazed appearance. It re-opened as the ABC on 12th September 1964 with Cliff Richard in “Wonderful Life”. Seating was now provided for 1,030.
The ABC closed on 26th February 1983 with Richard Gere in “An Officer and a Gentleman”. The building was boarded up and was eventually demolished during March-May 1985.
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