Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Flickerless Cinema, New Cross, and ABC, Kentish Town

As today marks the second anniversary of the death of Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman, here are two cinema signs.

Film Cinema
Tower Rye Lane

Location: New Cross Road / Picture taken on: 23/07/2009

Painted next to New Cross Gate station, this sign would have tried to lure commuters away from the local Gaumont New Cross and New Cross Empire to the Tower Cinema further away. Opened on 19th November 1914, the Tower was designed by the architect H. Courtenay Constantine and would have been fairly similar to The Angel in Islington and the Scala in King's Cross, with, as the name suggests, a tower rising 100 ft above Rye Lane (the tower of the Angel Cinema at 7 Islington Green still exists). The Tower closed on 1st December 1956, two years and a half after the Empire and three years and a half before the Gaumont. Nowadays a car park stands on the site of the Tower, and a car wash on that of the Empire. Part of the Gaumont building has survived and houses the Venue nightclub.

Follow This Sign
For Perfect

Location: Highgate Road / Picture taken on: 14/08/2008

The Forum, with its Art Deco facade is still a prominent building in Kentish Town. Opened in 1934, it became part of the Associated British Cinemas family one year later. Closed in 1970, it was turned like many cinemas that escaped demolition into a bingo hall. Nowadays it is in use as a concert hall and theatre.

I doubt that any of these cinemas would have screened any of Ingmar Bergman's films. More popular movies with namesake actress, and compatriot, Ingrid Bergman would have been more likely.

For more information about these four cinemas, you can visit the excellent website

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