Canterbury Electric Cinema

49A St. Peter's Street,
Canterbury, CT1 2BE

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Canterbury Electric Cinema

Located in Canterbury, Kent, the Canterbury Electric cinema opened on 1st June 1911. It was purpose-built to the design of F.H. Dore and A.R. Bowles, the latter devising a lovely ornamental glass canopy over the entrance. There was a central pay box with an oak paneled corridor leading to the auditorium, which boasted a balcony and tip-up seats. There was also an afternoon tea bar.

The last film show was on 5th November 1927. The building became, intriguingly, the Odeon Hall or Odeon Music Hall then, from 31st August 1936, the Canterbury Repertory Theatre. After the war the old cinema became Perry’s Talisman restaurant then, in the late-1960’s, a Chinese restaurant, the owners of which installed a false ceiling which obliterated any traces of the former cinema. In October 1998 the building was occupied by Caffe Uno. In July 2015 it became a Gourmet Burger Kitchen and the original ceilings have been revealed again.

Contributed by David Simpson

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Buffer on January 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

As the Talisman restaurant it was used as an overflow lunch venue for dayboys from the Kings School. The original full height ceiling and balcony is now revealed again.

DavidSimpson on December 8, 2014 at 6:30 am

In December 2014 (see my two photographs) the restaurant had been nicely renamed “Picture House”. I visited on a Monday, and unfortunately it was not open. Hopefully it is open on other days of the week.

Buffer on August 14, 2015 at 9:27 am

After a period of being empty again, the old cinema is now Gourmet Burger Kitchen, from July, 2015 . The curved ceiling is retained and the long lead in from St Peters Street, but the stairs to the balcony are gone and replaced by a new enclosed one to 4 cubicles and GBK crew accommodation.

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