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

After the Final Curtain 2 - America's Abandoned Theatres

Illustrated talk by Matt Lambros

Saturday 22nd February 2020 at 5.30 (doors open 5pm)

In the first of what we hope to be a short series of events featuring international guest speakers, the CTA welcomes back noted cinema theatre photographer Matt Lambros from the USA, who splendidly entertained a ‘full house’ in February 2018 with interior images he had taken of long closed movie theatres in the USA, which were featured in his book After the Final Curtain – The Fall of the American Movie Theater. The quality of the images were truly amazing and we were stunned by his ability to photograph the beauty of dereliction in such difficult circumstances, while Matt gave running comments on his exploits and adventures gaining access into theatre buildings that had been abandoned for decades.

Matt’s book was so successful he has released After the Final Curtain: America’s Abandoned Theaters, copies of which will be available for sale to CTA members on the evening. Come early to grab your seat for another evening of images of what remains after the last ticket was sold.

Venue: The Gallery, at Alan Baxter Associates, 75 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6EL (see opposite for travel directions)

Admittance: £10 on the door. Guests welcome (includes wine and light refreshments) The CTA Bookstall will be at the event. Limited copies of Matt's book will be on sale and available for signing.

A Brooklyn Bite of the Big Apple

Illustrated talk by Cezar Del Valle

Saturday 28 March at 5.30pm (doors open at 5pm)

In the second event of this short series of presentations featuring international guest speakers, the CTA welcomes former cinema manager, distinguished theatre historian, author and tour guide Cezar Del Valle from Brooklyn, New York City. Fellow CTA member Cezar will be well known to other members who attended the two successful visits to New York organised by Ken Roe and assisted by Cezar in November 2000 ‘Big Theatres in the Big Apple’ and in October 2007 ‘Another Bite of the Big Apple’. Many visitors to New York go to Manhattan and miss out on some of the real treats to be found in the other Boroughs; Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. The same is true for Brooklyn, the largest of the five Boroughs.

In this presentation Cezar will take us on a tour around these lessbeaten tracks, which in 1941 had 233 cinemas operating, the most in any of the five Boroughs. Brooklyn had large movie palaces in its Downtown; Loew's Paramount (3,618 seats, architect Thomas Lamb – 1918) now restored as home to the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir; the Brooklyn Paramount (4,124 seats. architects Rapp & Rapp – 1928) currently being restored as a concert venue; the RKO - Keith Albee Theatre (3,246 seats, architect Thomas Lamb – 1925) demolished in 1978; the Brooklyn Fox Theatre (4,088 seats, architect C Howard Crane – 1928) demolished in 1971; the Strand Theatre (2,894 seats, architect Thomas Lamb – 1918) now repurposed and altered as a live theatre. All these and more were within a few minutes’ walk of each other!There were also many splendid cinemas in other districts, such as Brooklyn’s Broadway, Bushwick, Flatbush Avenue, Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant, plus dozens of smaller neighbourhood theatres, which will be featured in Act 1 of the presentation. Act 2 will be devoted to the playground of New York, the famed Coney Island and adjacent Brighton Beach, with its wide Boardwalk, beach, and amusement parks such as Luna Park, Steeplechase Park, Dreamland and today Astro Land. Over the years, it hosted 48 roller coasters! Its connection to the movies includes locations for Harold Lloyd in Speedy and Woody Allen filming sequences for Annie Hall plus movie theatres of course.

If you have never visited Brooklyn or have been and want to re-live memories, then this is your opportunity to take a stroll with Cezar along the streets and avenues featured in films such as The French Connection, Saturday Night Fever and many others. On the way Cezar will be thrilling you with historic stories of the glamour, the heartache and the ups and downs of the movie theatres of the Borough of Brooklyn. Don’t miss… It will be an evening to remember!

Admission on the door: £10 (including wine and light refreshments). Members and non-members welcome.

Venue: The Gallery, Alan Baxter Associates, 75 Cowcross Street, Farringdon, London, EC1M 6EL.

Coming June 2020

Movie Magic 'Round The Moor'

Exmoor is one of Britain’s finest landscapes. Large areas of open moorland contrast with wooded valleys, high sea cliffs and magnificent coastal views – a landscape that has inspired poets, writers and artists for hundreds of years. Surrounding the moor are market towns, picturesque villages, seaside resorts and small ports, where there are some sixteen functioning venues and around twenty former cinemas still standing. Those currently operating are a mixture of traditional single screens, multi-use venues including theatres occasionally on film, conversions of earlier buildings and one purpose-built multiplex. They are the Central Cinema and the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple, the Deckchair Cinema, Croyde, the Dulverton Cinema in Dulverton, the Plough Arts Centre, Great Torrington, the Embassy cinema and the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, the Lynton Cinema in Lynton, the Regal and the ABC in Minehead, the Twitchen House Cinema at Mortehoe, the Brewhouse and the Odeon in Taunton, the Tivoli in Tiverton and the Wellesley in Wellington. The Woolacombe Bay Hotel, an extravagant 1880s ‘Tudorbethan’ pile, has recently opened a luxury first-run bijou cinema, the Neo, where a private screening is planned as part of the tour.

Foremost amongst former cinema buildings is the listed Gaumont (later Odeon, now bingo), Taunton, with its grandiose Art Deco interior. Other former venues now mothballed, in other use, altered or partially demolished include the Regal and the Foresters Hall Picture House in Barnstaple, the Plaza, the Agricultural Inn, The Cinema, and the Parish Hall in Braunton, the Palace, the Alexander Theatre and the Northfield Picture House in Ilfracombe, the BB, the Methodist Hall and Town Hall Cinema in Lynton, the Cosy and the Queen's Hall in Minehead, the County Cinema in Taunton, the Memorial Rooms in Tiverton, the Ritz and the Cosy in Watchet and the Rex in Wellington.

The week-long tour, planned for the first week in June 2020,
will circumnavigate Exmoor visiting or making photo-stops at as many of these venues as time and circumstances permit.

To register your interest and receive details of the tour itinerary, joining instructions and a booking form, please send an email to [deco55@btinternet.com]. Alternatively, send SAE to David Vinnels, CTA Exmoor, 24 Cloudesley Square, London, N1 0HN to arrive by Monday 10 February.

Porto

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.