New Astoria Cinema

12 Wastdale Road,
London, SE23

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Ben Jay's Circuit

Firms: Frank Matcham & Company

Previous Names: Stanstead Picture Palace, Stanstead Cinema, Astoria Cinema, Balmoral Cinema

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New Astoria Cinema

Located in the south London district of Forest Hill. The Stanstead Picture Palace opened on 22nd January 1913. The entrance was created out of existing shop premises at 12-14 Wastdale Road, with the auditorium built at the rear. By 1927 it had been re-named Stanstead Cinema and in that year it had a canopy installed over the entrance, which had been designed by the architectural firm Frank Matcham & Company. They were also responsible for alterations made when Western Electric Sound was installed in 1931. It had a brief closure while this work was carried out and it was re-named Astoria Cinema, re-opening on 26th December 1931 with Marion Davies in “It’s a Wise Child”. By 1937, it was operated by Ben Jay’s Circuit.

It was re-named Balmoral Cinema from 11th April 1954, but was soon closed on 29th May 1954. Re-opened as the New Astoria Cinema on 14th November 1954, it was finally closed on 26th February 1955.

On 19th August 1968, it was converted into an independent bingo club. It was later derelict, and was demolished in 1975. The site was redeveloped and housing was built.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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