Forthcoming Visits & Events

The Cinema Theatre Association organises visits to cinemas and theatres, past and present, across the UK and overseas. Lectures and other events feature in our programme of activities too. These are usually for members only, so why not join?

Full details are provided in the bi-monthly Bulletin

New Screens for Old: A South London Cinema resurrection

Wednesday 13 February 2019

organised by Kevin Gooding

New cinema screens are on the increase with the takeover and enhancement of existing cinemas and redevelopment of other properties. Companies such as Everyman, Picturehouse and Curzon are spearheading this new flurry of activity.

This event will kick off at 10am at the recently opened Everyman Crystal Palace, a venue which has seen a great deal of to-ing and fro-ing in recent years; film, bingo and church ownership to name but a few. Moving on later using public transport to the West Norwood Picturehouse, we are also hoping to secure entry to another venue before finishing at the former Capitol Forest Hill, now operating as a JD Wetherspoons pub.

A charge of £5.00 for the visit will be collected on the day. Visit notes and light refreshments included.

Please register your interest on the visits and events phone number, 020 8800 8393.

Getting there: The Everyman Crystal Palace is situated in Church Road, Crystal Palace, SE19. The London Overground station is about ten minutes’ walk away and the cinema is directly served by many bus services, including routes 3, 122, 157, 202, 227, 249 & 363.

The CTA's Swedish Adventure

Saturday 23 February 5.30 (doors open 5.00pm)

Presented by David Trevor-Jones

The main aim in this event will be to show the amazing set of small rural cinemas – no fewer than twelve single screen ‘Bios’ – which the CTA party visited in Gotland in August 2018. We will also show a little of this probably little-known holiday island and its UNESCO World Heritage listed capital, Visby.

As well as the location of a somewhat astonishing film-going culture, Gotland and in particular the small island of Fårö off its northern tip, have provided many film locations. The CTA party puzzled over the location of the final scene in Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice (1986) and peered into the woods surrounding Ingmar Bergman’s house to try to glimpse the location for much of Persona (1966). If the technical challenges can be met these might be shown on film as well as in our 2018 souvenir pictures. Before setting off for Visby the party visited the newly and impressively restored Capitol cinema in Stockholm, which will be recalled and if time allows there may be some vintage images of long-gone cinemas visited on earlier CTA visits to Sweden’s capital.

Björn and Anne-Marie Alnebo, the organisers of our Gotland adventure, hope to attend and we hope to add a Swedish theme to the catering to make this a truly Swedish evening.

Venue: The Gallery, Alan Baxter Associates (address directions above). Admission on the door: Members and Guests: £10 each, includes wine, soft drinks and light refreshments.

East is Best - Part 2

Wednesday 20 March 11.00am - 3.30pm (approx.)

Organised by Ken Roe

As a follow-up to our successful “East is Best” visit to Shoreditch, Dalston and Hoxton on 4 July 2018, we will return to this area of East London, which is undergoing a revival. Our visit begins at 11:00am at EartH (former Savoy/ABC/Konak/Ace) on Stoke Newington Road, Stoke Newington. Designed by ABC’s in-house architect William Riddell Glen, it opened on 26 October 1936 as the 1,890-seat Savoy Cinema. It was considered one of Glen’s best surviving unaltered cinemas and was last visited by the CTA on 30 October 1983 when it was operating as the Acce Cinema. It closed on 16 February 1984 and the building became a snooker club. The auditorium was divided, with the circle becoming unused and the entrance foyer converted into retail use. Eventually the circle foyer (with its plaster ceiling removed) became a snooker club and the stalls became a Turkish community centre. The former circle seating area remained derelict and a home to flocks of pigeons. In 2017, the building was purchased by the owners of Village Underground (an arts venue) in Shoreditch. Planning permission was approved and in February 2018 funding of £1.9 million was raised to convert the building into Hackney Arts Centre. Tons of rubbish and pigeon poo (and dead birds) were removed in a clean-up of the former circle and it reopened as EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney) in September 2018. A week of classic films was screened in December 2018.

We will then take a bus from Kingsland High Road (or Overground from Dalston Junction) to Shoreditch, where we will visit three currently operating cinemas, which will be ‘first time visits’ for the CTA. Each venue has a café where members may purchase coffee, tea and cakes etc.

Close-up Film Centre Sclater St, (off Brick Lane) This single-screen cinema opened in 2014. The 40-seat cinema is equipped with 35mm reel to reel, 16mm and digital projection and screens revival and classic films.

Electric Cinema - Shoreditch, Redchurch St Opened as the Aubin Cinema on 20 May 2010 in the basement of a former post-war office building. It is a luxury cinema with 45 seats. In late 2014 it was taken over by the owners of the Electric Cinema, Notting Hill and re-named Electric Cinema – Shoreditch.

Richmix Cinema, Bethnal Green Road This three-screen cinema opened on 28 April 2006. It is a conversion of a former garment factory and the screens, located on different floors, seat 181 (equipped with both digital and 35mm projection), 132 & 59, both with digital projection only.

While in the Shoreditch area we hope to see the exteriors of two 1930s cinemas: Odeon Stepney / Naz Cinema (former MayfairCinema), Brick Lane (1936-1967) architects: Kemp & Tasker, 1,500 seats; façade only, auditorium demolished for flats. Luxor Cinema, Commercial Street (1933-1939) architect: Charles Brett, 871 seats, converted into flats

This is a free visit for members only. Please register to attend by phoning the visit registration line 0208 800 8393 and leave your message on the ansaphone, quoting “East is Best”, your CTA membership number and contact phone number. Registration closes on Saturday 16 March.

Getting there: London Overground (Dalston Kingsland): turn left out of the station and a short 5 minutes’ walk along Kingsland High Road (walking past the Rio Cinema, Dalston), the EartHbuilding is on Stoke Newington Road (a continuation of Kingsland High Road) on the second block along on the same side as the RioCinema. Or London Overground (Dalston Junction) turn left out of the station, then take a right along Kingsland High Road passing Dalston Kingsland Overground station and the Rio Cinema etc. Buses 242 & 149 run from Liverpool Street station to Dalston Kingsland Overground station.

Pavilion at 90 and CTA Wessex Launch

Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 March

These two events are linked but members can select either or both, which will take place in the Bournemouth and Poole area of Dorset this spring. Long-standing CTA members David Eve and Gary Trinder have relocated to Poole and, having for many years organised visits for the CTA in the North, hope to arrange things on the South Coast. With this in mind we are launching CTA Wessex and are having a social evening on Monday 18 March in Poole with a buffet and some entertainment. We are looking at a venue near to a railway station on the Waterloo– Poole line if anyone wants to come down from London for the day.

The next day Tuesday, members who wish to stay over will have the opportunity of having a tour of the Regent Cinema/Theatre Christchurch, which includes a museum of cinema equipment and displays of local cinema history, which has been lovingly put together by John, Phillip and Barry, all CTA members. This will take place in the morning and in the evening we will be attending the BournemouthPavilion’s 90th birthday celebration with a screening of the Warner Brothers classic, 42nd Street. This will be a Gala style presentation with an orchestra before the screening and a chance to hear the wonderful Compton Organ, which has been under the careful watch of the Pavilion’s Christian Knighton for many years.

I have not reserved any accommodation for members at this stage as individual’s may wish to attend part or all of the two days of activities. Once I get an indication of those who may wish to attend in March, I will respond with more detailed plans. It would be useful however to know which elements appeal to members. Please send SAE to: CTA Wessex, Far Ends, 28 Courtenay Road, Lower Parkstone, Poole, BH14 OHD.

An Evening of Short Illustrated Talks

Saturday 16 March 5.30 (doors open 5.00pm)

"So just who was this man ?" by David Vinnels

Some CTA members will no doubt have heard of, or possibly own a copy of the book Modern Theatres and Cinemas by P Morton Shand, published in 1930. This seminal book, which despite the title deals principally with cinema design, was virtually the only major study of the subject published in Britain for nearly forty years. And what makes Morton Shand’s book still so interesting today is that it is not merely a study of the subject but rather an outspoken polemic that denounces as much as it praises and probably enrages as many readers as are enthused by it. The author led an intriguing lifestyle but is barely remembered at all nowadays and surprisingly little has been written about him, yet he played a significant role throughout the first half of the 20th Century in the cultural life of Britain. For several years David Vinnels has been researching Morton Shand and his talk will endeavour to unravel the complex tale of this extraordinary man and his amazingly eclectic life and work.

"From Sidney to Sydney" by Gerald Glover

In his illustrated talk, Gerald Glover (CTA Public Relations Officer) tells of his move from Granada Theatres (Sidney Bernstein) to Sydney (Australia) where he leased the Mayfair Theatre (cinema) Castlereagh Street at the end of its theatrical life. Afterwards he moved to Melbourne, where he managed Barry Humphries At Least You Can Say You’ve Seen It at the Comedy Theatre, Lilian Gish and the Movies at the Princess Theatre, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at His (not Her) Majesty's Theatre and Abel Gance’s Napoleon with full orchestra in Melbourne Concert Hall.

"Delving into the CTA's Digital Archive" by Richard Norman

The CTA’s Archive hopes to be on the move shortly to relocate from its temporary storage location in Bow, London to a new permanent site (details should be announced soon). Whilst in its temporary location, a lot of work has been done to compile a section devoted to recorded media (eg VHS cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs) and with some technical transfer this now forms the basis of the CTA’s digital media archive. The content is varied and includes CTA visits, TV broadcasts, members’ amateur footage, etc, all with a cinema/theatre related theme. The digital archive has been available as a resource and, from time to time, used to supplement the talks organised by the CTA. A few examples of interest, possibly unseen, have been chosen to be shown during the evening.

Venue: The Gallery, Alan Baxter Associates (address directions above). Admission on the door: Members and Guests: £10 each, includes wine, soft drinks and light refreshments.


An up-date from Ray Ritmeester & Mark Price (Jan 2019)

We have been liaising with ‘Travel Editions’ and making reasonable progress with our trip to Porto. Unfortunately the cost of the trip, plus hotels within our price range for our proposed September 2019 visit is almost impossible to find. The poor exchange rate with the Euro is also proving a major obstacle.

There is also a planned visit by The Frank Matcham Society to Berlin in the autumn of 2019 which would mean that our members who are affiliated to both groups would be compromised both on grounds of cost and timings. We have therefore contacted our agents to give us dates in 2020 when they might be able to find reasonable rates. We realise this is disappointing but hope to come back to you later this year with better news.

The latest issue of the ‘BULLETIN’ advertising the Porto visit unfortunately went to press before we had time to amend the item.