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

CTA Annual General Meeting

Saturday 1 June 2019 in London

Organised by Ray Ritmeester

To start the day we have been invited for a one hour tour of the Odeon Leicester Square. Doors open at 9:30am for our look around the recently refurbished and upgraded venue. Resident organist Donald MacKenzie will be joining us and playing a short musical interlude on the Compton Theatre Organ, affectionately known as the ‘Duchess’.

The AGM will be held at the Castle Cinema in Homerton starting promptly at 12:00 midday, doors open at 11:45. The meeting will feature the regular casework presentation about cases from around the UK. The CTA bookstall will also be in attendance. Finish time is 3:30pm.

Nominations for committee members are invited and should be sent to the Secretary, Adam Unger to arrive seven days before the meeting. The minutes of last year’s meeting will be available in the members’ area of the CTA website from the beginning of April, as well as being distributed on the day.

Getting there: The Odeon Leicester Square is served by the Underground, nearest stations are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus. The Castle Cinema is located at 64-66 Brooksby’s Walk, Hackney, E9 6DA. The closest station is Homerton on London Overground, which can be reached via the Underground, changing at Highbury & Islington. On the day a map will be available for those travelling from the Odeon to the Castle. Members who wish to travel in a group to the Castle will be also be catered for.

Click here to read the minutes of the CTA AGM 2018, and log into the Members' Area to see the Accounts to be presented at this year's AGM

Click here to see the CTA Accounts to be presented at the AGM 2019.

Uphill and Downhill and Into the Woods

Wednesday 12 - Friday 14 June

This three-day tour is the first CTA event to include visits in this part of Lincolnshire for over 30 years. We will be based in the City of Lincoln, after first visiting Newark, over the border in Nottinghamshire and afterwards Woodhall Spa. Lincoln has one of the most dramatic locations in England. It is a City of two halves: Uphill and Downhill, connected by streets with precipitous gradients, the most famous being the aptly named Steep Hill.

We start the tour in Newark. The Palace Theatre was designed as a cinema by the local businesswoman and architect, Emily Blagg, 1920. It is where Donald Wolfit started his acting career. Also in the town is the five-screen Odeon (2007) and two closed venues now in other use: the Art Deco exterior of the Savoy (Robert Cromie, 1936) and what remains of a later façade of the Kinema, which originally opened in 1913.

In Lincoln, we hope to include as many as possible of the current and former cinemas, theatres and mixed-use venues in the City: The New Theatre Royal designed by Bertie Crewe & WGR Sprague (1892) has been both a live venue and cinema. The Odeon (2001) is a nine-screen multiplex. Two closed venues with Art Deco façades have undergone internal alterations: the Ritz (formerly Odeon) by Leslie C Norton (1937) and the Radion by WJ King (1939). We hope to obtain access at both to see what remains of the auditoria. The exteriors of the Picture Hall (Lincoln’s first cinema venue, a church hall, 1909), the Cinematograph Hall (1910, in the former Corn Exchange) and the Grand Electric Cinema, a 1911 conversion of a Mediaeval/Georgian building. The Bishop Greaves Theatre was renamed The Venue after being upgraded in 2012 to become a University performing arts centre and a public cinema. The Drill Hall, a brick and cast-iron structure (William Watkins (?), 1889-90), was converted in 2004 into a venue for theatre, music and occasional cinema. The Blue Room is a recently opened multi-purpose venue within the ballroom of the former Lincoln Lunatic Asylum (Richard Ingleman, 1819-20). The Engine Shed, an entertainment complex in the former 1875 GNR engine shed and the adjacent LPAC–Lincoln Performing Arts Centre – both by Stem Architects, 2005-07, as part of the Lincoln University campus. The new Everyman is under construction with a scheduled opening date of early 2020 but something of the exterior may be visible.

From Lincoln, we will travel by coach to the Kinema in the Woods at Woodhall Spa, a late 19th-Century entertainment pavilion converted into a cinema (1922). This venue is situated in a wooded glade surrounded by tall trees. Our visit will include a recital by the cinema’s resident organist on the Woods Compton organ and a special screening of the 1942 Ealing Studios classic Went the Day Well? directed by Alberto Cavalcanti, story by Graham Greene adapted by John Dighton, with music by William Walton and starring Leslie Banks and a host of well-known supporting actors. “Cavalcanti’s outstanding film is worthy of Hitchcock at his best.” Raymond Durgnat (1970).

To register your interest and receive full details of the tour itinerary, accommodation options, joining notes and a booking form, please send SAE to David Vinnels, CTA Lincoln, 24 Cloudesley Square, London, N1 0HN or email [] to arrive by Friday 5 April.

Flicks in Fenland

Saturday 13 July

Organised by Elain Harwood - for over 18s only

This full-day trip will start at 9:30am at the Majestic King’s Lynn of 1928 by John Lewis Carnell and William Dymoke White. Apologies for the early start but films start at 10:30 and we must not miss this important and unusual listed cinema. The Majestic is in Tower Street in the town centre, a short walk from the railway station.

We will then depart by coach to visit the Luxe Wisbech, a 70-seat cinema opened in 2009 in a Women’s Institute Hall, operated by the Picturedrome Electric Theatre Co; the Regent Downham Market by Cornell and White, now a market hall; and the Ritz/Theatre Royal King’s Lynn, a cinema of 1937 completed by ABC after it took over the Union chain, on the site of an earlier theatre destroyed by fire. These visits are confirmed; I hope to fit in other cinema buildings in the area if possible.

We will conclude at the fantastic Empire Wisbech, a gem of 1932 by FB Ward and CEA Woolnough and listed Grade II*, now on bingo, returning to King’s Lynn for the 17:45 train. Do note that to fit around cinema and bingo openings we will be darting to-and-fro between the three towns to see as much as possible. Please note that to enter the Ritz we must be members of the Bingo Club – I will have forms on the day but if anyone does go up the day before please join then – it will aid logistics.

Cost:£15 each, to include coach and notes. Numbers limited to 50. To book a place on this visit, please log into the Members' Area

To book a place on this visit, please send a cheque made out to the Cinema Theatre Association for £15 per person, with their names, to Elain Harwood, 2 Greenman Street, London, N1 8SB. Bookings will not be acknowledged unless you also include a stamped SAE or email address.

Coming Soon: A Cinematic Wander Around Coventry

Saturday 17 August

Organised by Peter Lea and Richard Norman

A visit is being planned to explore the cinemas in and around Coventry. This will be an all-day event (timed to catch a train from London to Coventry) with a connecting coach to take us to the various locations. Further details and booking information will be announced in the next issue of the Bulletin.


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.