Gala Berkeley Cinema
30 Tottenham Court Road,
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The Carlton Picture Theatre opened on 17th October 1913 with “Germinal”. It stood almost adjacent to the Majestic Picturedrome (later La Continentale Cinema) on the west side of Tottenham Court Road.
Seating was provided for 800 on one floor and there was a 20 feet wide proscenium opening. In the centre of the ceiling was a large decorated dome that was back-lit from its rim. There was a dance hall located in the basement.
The Carlton Picture Theatre closed in late-October 1939 due to lack of business when World War II began and it didn’t re-open until May 1943 when it become part of the Marks Circuit Cinema of Manchester. After the war it was closed briefly for redecoration in early-April 1948 and re-opened on 24th April 1948 with a new name as the Berkeley Cinema.
It was operated for many years by Kenneth Rive’s Gala Film Distibuters, and was often referred to as the Gala Berkeley Cinema. From 3rd May 1983 the former basement dance hall (which became Rectors nightclub and then the Blarney Dance Club) had been converted into a second screen Barkeley 2, seating 183.
Sadly, this entire section of Tottenham Court Road was scheduled for a huge re-development and the Berkeley Cinema, together with its neighbour La Continentale Cinema were closed on 31st August 1976.
The new developement included a new three-screen cinema complex which opened as the Classic Cinema in July 1981. Later becoming the ABC and today operating as the Odeon Tottenham Court Road. These are located on the site of the former Berkeley Cinema & La Continentale Cinema.
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