Rink Cinema

6 Silverdale,
London, SE26 5QW

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Located in the south-east London district of Sydenham. The Sydenham & Forest Hill Skating Rink opened in December 1909, as a roller skating rink, but was soon screening films. It was designed by architects J. & P.J. Groom and Ewen S. Barr. Seating was provided for 499. Skating use ended in mid-1910 and it became a full time cinema from 3rd June 1910, although there were occasional days when it was used for skating.

Re-named Sydenham Cinematograph Theatre in mid-1911, it had become the Rink Cinema in 1912. There were refreshment rooms and a billiard hall attached. It was taken over by the Army during World War I in 1916. It was de-requisitioned after the Armistice in 1918.

It was taken over by Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) in 1924, and they closed it for improvements and enlargement in July 1928. The level floor was raked and a 2Manual/6Ranks Wurlitzer organ was installed. The stage was also re-vamped. It re-opened as the Rink Cinema on 22nd October 1928 with an increased seating capacity for 1,518.

PCT were taken over by the Gaumont British Theatres chain in February 1929, and they operated the Rink Cinema for the remainder of its cinematic life.

The Rink Cinema was requisitioned by the Civil Defence at the beginning of World War II in September 1939. Later the Army were using the building. After the war ended, it never re-opened.

The frontage of the building was re-built as London Electricity Board premises. The building was demolished in October 1995.

A block of flats named Silverdale House was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 27, 2010 at 9:51 am

A vintage photograph of the Rink Cinema during World War I when it had been requisitioned by the British Army, and a recent view of the building prior to its 1995 demolition:
http://www.ukwurlitzer.co.cc/1941.html

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