Focus Cinema

12-18 Crown Hill,
Croydon, CR0 1RZ

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Focus Cinema

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The building was on the site of the Croydon Hippodrome Theatre, which was demolished in 1956, and using the original facade (modified), the current building became an extension of British Home Stores. They had pulled out of the building by 1971, and the chain of Classic Cinemas Ltd. converted the building into a 3-screen cinema, which opened on 26th August 1972. Screen 1 seated 213 and opened with "Mutiny on the Buses" & "The Man Who Hanged Himself", Screen 2 seated 193 and opened with "What’s Up Doc?" and "Ski Raiders" and Screen 3 seated 112 and began as a non-stop cartoon cinema (but soon went over to feature films). Classic also operated a restaurant and a sauna in the building.

From 20th January 1974, it was taken over by the Brent Walker Group and was re-named Oscar Cinema. Like other cinemas in the chain, it was re-named Focus Cinema from 11th April 1974, after objections on the use of the name ‘Oscar’ by the Los Angeles Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Focus Cinema closed on 14th August 1982, and became a fitness centre and snooker club. By 2006, the building was in use as a Wakabout bar, a nightclub named Fyeo and a billiard’s hall named Loop Poolbar.

Contributed by Ken Roe

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Ken Roe
Ken Roe on June 21, 2009 at 1:56 pm

A vintage photograph of the Classic Cinema soon after opening in 1972:
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