Ideal Cinema

2-5 Lambeth Road,
London, SE11

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Located on the corner of Lambeth Road and Lambeth Walk in the southeast London inner-city district of Lambeth. Built in 1808 as the Lambeth Mission. It served the poverty stricken area of North Lambeth, located just south of the River Thames from Waterloo. Operated as a chapel mission by the Methodist’s, it underwent alterations (funded partly by J. Arthur Rank, who was himself a Methodist), and converted into the Ideal Cinema, opening on 5th October 1928.

The former gallery in the chapel was replaced by a balcony, and a projection box was added to the front of the building. A 2Manual Christie theatre organ was also installed. Film programming was of the family type, usually with moral overtones. It was run by the Reverand T. Tiplady.

The Ideal Cinema was destroyed by German bombs in the Winter of 1941. Church and cinema activities continued in the adjacent Spencer Hall on the corner of Lambeth Walk. This was also known as the Little Ideal, but was also destoyed by German rocket bombs in 1945.

A new Lambeth Mission was built on the site, which opened on 1st September 1951, but it has never been used as a cinema.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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