689 High Road,
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The Rex Cinema was a project of Associated British Cinemas(ABC) who used their in-house architect William R. Glen to design this large cinema located in the north east London suburb of Leytonstone. It was the first of the ABC cinemas chain to use the Rex name, most being usually named Regal or Savoy. It was located across the High Road from the Elms pub, today known as Lincolns.
It had an attractive facade in white faiance tiling, broken by six vertical columns, which had two sets of windows between each one. Inside the auditorium, the seating was arranged for 1,174 in the stalls and 780 in the circle. There was a decorative panel in the anti-proscenium side wall on each side which had a woodland tableau depicting deer in a forest.
The Rex Cinema opened on 21st September 1936 with "Ourselves Alone" and Wallace Beery in "A Message to Garcia".
The Rex Cinema led an uneventful life and was closed on 18th March 1960 with Laurence Harvey in "The Long and the Short and the Tall" and Sonya Wilde in "I Passed For White".
The interior was gutted with all decoration removed and it was converted into an ABC Tenpin Bowling alley. The bowling alley closed on 20th May 1972 and the building became derelict. It was later demolished and the site lay unused for several years until the current block of flats was built.
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