140 Borough Road,
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The Irving Theatre opened on 18th December 1899 and at first was live theatre only. It was renamed Kings Theatre in 1904 and from that point films were included in the variety bills. Later called La Scala Theatre, then Hippodrome Theatre, the theatre alternated between seasons of films or live use until 1936 when another name Embassy Theatre, heralded a change to film use only.
Two years later the ornate interior, complete with boxes and Victorian plasterwork was swept away when the interior was transformed into an Art-Deco style modern cinema, although, for some reason the stage was retained.
Cinemascope was installed in June 1955, but the final film, “Sea of Sand” was screened in 1959. Bingo usage followed, with (for a time) a separate nightclub in the former balcony. The latter has now closed, but bingo contines in the stalls and stage area of the former theatre.
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