142 Streatham Hill,
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Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Rank Organisation
Architects: J.E. Dixon-Spain, Charles Nicholas
Firms: Nicholas & Dixon-Spain, T.P. Bennett & Son
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Gaumont Palace Streatham Hill
Located in the south-west inner London district of Streatham on Streatham Hill at the corner of Ardwell Street. The Gaumont Palace Streatham Hill opened on 14th March 1932 with Edna Best in “Michael and Mary” & Sally O'Neil in “The Brat”. On the stage was Jack Hart and His Band. It had 2,381 seats. It was designed in an Art Deco style by architectural firm of Charles Nicholas & J.E. Dixon-Spain. It featured an open-air terrace above the entrance which served teas on good weather days! The Gaumont Palace was equipped with a British Acoustic(BA) sound system. It had a 57ft wide proscenium, and a 35ft deep fully equipped stage and six dressing rooms. It was equipped with a 3Manual/10Ranks Compton organ which was opened by organist Leslie James.
In early-July 1944 it was seriously damaged by a German V1 rocket bomb and was closed. The damaged building then became a temporary factory until building restrictions were lifted and the interior was entirely reconstructed to the designs of architectural firm T.P. Bennett & Son.
It re-opened as the Gaumont on 18th July 1955 with Dirk Bogarde in "Doctor At Sea". The seating capacity was now reduced to 1,873. It closed on 25th March 1961 with Sophia Loren in "A Breath of Scandal" and Joy Barney in "Blueprint For A Robbery".
The interior was re-constructed again and it was converted into a 36-lane bowling alley known as the Streatham Bowl which opened on 29th January 1962. Part of the bowl was converted into a laser-drome. The Streatham Bowl and laser-drome were closed in early-2008 and plans for re-development into housing. Demolition began in late-October 2014. The façade was retained and the ground floor now serves as a M&S Food store. The new block of flats above is named Gaumont Place.
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Recent comments (view all 6 comments)
A photograph I took of the former Gaumont Streatham in September 2004:
And an earlier photograph from 1991 :–
Derek Palmer was the first Chief Engineer at Streatham Bowl. I worked with him at the Gaumont Clapham as a trainee projectionist, where he was the Chief Projectionist. When The Gaumont closed, I went to the Odeon East Dulwich as a fourth projectionist for a while, but later joined Derek as an assistant engineer prior to the Bowl being opened. I later returned to cinema work as 3rd Projectionist at the ABC Streatham.
Now boarded up and looking very, very sad. in a very poor condition.
seen here looking very neglected in april 2009 awaiting redevelopment, the recess over the front doors covered by netting and scaffolding
I think my grandfather and his brother owned this cinema back in the 1920’s. He had others in Twickenham and Mill Hill, that I know about. Any information would be fantastic.