History of The Carlton Cinema

The Carlton Cinema was built in 1930 as a cinema/theatre by George Coles, an Architect celebrated for his Art Deco cinema designs.

It was built as a cine-variety theatre for independent exhibitors C & R Theatres and opened on 1st September 1930.  The ambitious variety element was expensive and the Carlton was not a great success as the Carlton Cinema was taken over by Associated British Cinemas (ABC) from February 1935 and it was re-named ABC in 1962.

It closed as cinema on 5th August 1972 and, like many other cinema buildings across the country, was converted to a bingo hall. That use ended in 2007 and Resurrection Manifestations purchased the building and set about refurbishing the building for Church, community use and private hire.

Timeline

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1929

C & R Theatres Ltd, owners of the Carlton Cinema chain purchased the land and applied for planning permission to build a cinema. They appointed the cinema architect George Coles to design and execute the project. Planning permission for cinematograph, music, dancing and stage plays granted for the site.

1930

1st September Carlton Cinema opened with 2,266 seats. Heralded as ‘North London’s Most Palatial Cine-Variety Theatre’ meaning that as well as showing films the programmes included vaudeville acts (comedians / dancers / singers jugglers).

1935

The ambitious Variety element was expensive and  the Carlton was not a great success as C&R Theatres sold the Carlton to the larger company Associated British Cinemas (ABC). Variety acts at the Carlton Cinema were phased out by the 1940s.

1939-45

World War II bomb destroyed domed roof and cracked decorative plasterwork around auditorium.

1962

Carlton Cinema renamed ABC Cinema .

1972 

5th August Closed as a cinema – last film being ‘Mutiny on the Buses’.

1973 

Reopened as a bingo hall after being leased to Mecca Bingo –Auditorium and other areas altered to suit bingo use and offices.

2007

Closed as a Bingo Hall and acquired by Resurrection Manifestations.

2013

Phase 1 of refurbishment and renovation works completed.