Welling Kinema

Upper Wickham Lane,
East Wickham, DA16

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Located in East Wickham, just to the north of Welling. Films were screened in the East Wickham Parish Hall from 1908. By 1929 it was known as the Welling Kinema.

On 16th July 1929, a fire broke out during a showing of "Ghost in the Night". A new projector, which had not been fully tested was being used, and a spark from it flew out into an open box of films in the rewind room. The nitrate film stock caught fire, and the fire brigade were called. 80 customers were led out of the building safely, but the projectionist 19 year old Ralph Brown and his assistant 14 year old Ernest Thomas were burnt to death. Both the cinema management and the local council were criticised after an investigation, but no further action was taken. The Welling Kinema operated for several more years, but had closed by 1937.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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