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

A Chance to Vue

Wednesday 9 October

Organised by Marion Kennett

The six-screen Vue cinema in Eltham High Street, SE9 1BJ opened in April 2019 and we will be able to visit on Wednesday 9 October at 11am. After a short walk along Eltham High Street we will then visit the Bob Hope Theatre in Wythfield Road, SE9 5TG and hear of the recent improvements that have been carried out. Following a lunch break we head to Welling on the B15 bus to view the former Odeon, now the church of Freedom Centre International, situated in Upper Wickham Lane, DA16 3HF, commencing our conducted visit at 2:30pm.

There will be a charge of £6 for visit notes, which will be available on the day.
Please register your interest for this visit on the visits and events phone number, 020 8800 8393.
Getting there: Eltham station is served with trains from London on the Bexleyheath line to Dartford via Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge, New Cross and Lewisham. Buses from the station go to Eltham High Street, stopping outside Marks and Spencer’s, almost opposite the cinema. The 161 bus does not turn into the High Street. Alternatively Sidcup line trains to Dartford stop at Mottingham where a 126 bus will stop near the . Public car parking at Sainsbury’s, behind the , is entered from Passey Place or Messeter Place. After the visits, return to London can be via Eltham or from Welling station on the Bexleyheath line.

Best of Berks

Tuesday 22 October

Organised by Ray Ritmeester

Another early start I’m afraid! We shall be visiting the Empire Slough at 9am. It is one of our earliest multi-screen cinemas, opening as the Maybox in 1987 and has been operated by Virgin, UGC and Cineworks to name but a few. Our next port of call will be the Buzz bingo, formerly the Gala/Granada club and originally opened as the Adelphi way back in 1930.

We shall then use public transport to reach Windsor for a short lunch break and then have a tour of the Theatre Royal. The Frank Verity designed theatre opened in 1910 and operated as the Royalty cinema between 1935 and 1938. Our next venue will be the Screen cinema at the Old Court, which reopened in 2018 following a refurbishment.

Full details including timings and travel arrangements will be available by sending an email to [] or SAE to Ray Ritmeester, CTA Berks, 66 Woodside Road, High Wycombe, HP13 7JB

Talk Presentations - Double Bill

Saturday 9 November at 5.30 (doors open at 5.00pm)

When Cinema Let in the Light by Martin Cleave

Light orchestral music formed a significant part of 20th Century popular culture, so not surprisingly it found its way into the cinema-going experience of the pre-Beatles era. Through historic recordings and vintage broadcasts, this presentation will feature the orchestras of the Commodore Hammersmith and Troxy Stepney, among others, accompanied by images of the cinemas they performed in. It will also feature compositions by theatre organists including Sidney Torch and Louis Mordish. Also, hear how the Pearl & Dean theme went after the pillars faded and all about Joan Sims’ “larky goings-on in the two and threes”.

Martin Cleave has a lifelong interest in music. He began learning to play the piano at the age of 7 and is currently Pianist and Music Manager at the Royal Academy of Dance. In his spare time he is conductor for the ‘Eltham Park Pleasant Sunday Afternoon Orchestra’. Martin is also a long-time member of the CTA.


Putney's Role in Cinema History by Philip Evison

Philip Evison formed an early love for the cinema and has been writing and speaking about the history of his area of Putney in south-west London, for the last 30 years. So when the theme of this year’s Wandsworth Heritage Festival was announced as ‘Entertainment’, the subject for an illustrated talk virtually chose itself – ‘The History of Putney’s Cinemas’, which he gave to a full house earlier this year.

Putney boasts of the existence of about ten venues that exhibited films through the evolution of cinema history. Its first purpose-built cinemas opened in 1911, a couple of years after they first appeared in other boroughs, though moving pictures had, as elsewhere, been shown in adapted premises before then – including in the Frederick Hingston-designed Hippodrome, aka Putney Empire & Palace of Varieties. Recent research has revealed that Putney and its surrounding area has had its claim with early cinema pioneers. The under-recognised Robert W Paul, who was a British scientific instrument inventor, successfully vied with the Lumière brothers to introduce animated pictures for public exhibition. He retired, died and is buried in the locality. There is also strong anecdotal evidence that William Friese-Greene showed some of his early films in the Platt Picture Theatre, housed on the first floor of an empty factory near Putney Bridge.

Venue: The Gallery, Alan Baxter Associates, 75 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London EC1M 6EL.
Admission on the door: Members and Guests: £10 each, includes wine, soft drinks and light refreshment
Organiser to contact: Richard Norman tel: 020 8668 6077; Email: []


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.