Purple Picture House

Arnside Street,
London, SE17

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Located in a short side-street off Camberwell Road where it joins Walworth Road in the Walworth/Camberwell Gate area. The Purple Picture Hall was opened by Abraham Simons in July 1913. It was described as being a very ornate building. In 1930, RCA Sound equipment was installed.

The Purple Picture House was closed in 1939, possibly in September when World War II began. The film showing was Robertson Hare in “So This Is London”. Initially all cinemas and theatres were closed, but after a couple of weeks or so were allowed to re-open, and the Purple Picture House did re-open, but only for a short time. The building was damaged by German bombs and its elaborate facade stood for several years after 1945, when the war ended. It was subsequently demolished.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

spencerphobbs on August 27, 2014 at 3:34 am

Unfortunately, many of the listings of this site contain frequent errors, wrong dates and misinformation (not necessarily the fault of the contributors, since the listings have mostly been copied from other sources that were incorrect in the first place) but as a cinema historian myself, I can state that this building was never called the Westmoreland Picture Palace as stated, it didn’t open “around 1912” (nor ever changed ownership) and the last film was not “So This Is London” as stated. Furthermore, it did reopen after the initial period of closure in September 1939, when all cinemas, theatres and other places of entertainment were closed temporarily. I only correct these points, as this site gets referred to by others seeking information on individual cinemas, and has resulted in other web sites, local publications and other sources all now containing erroneous information that has been sourced on this website.

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