Canadian Rink Cinema
419 High Road,
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Architects: Ewen S. Barr, Edward Albert Stone
Firms: Norfolk & Pryor
Previous Names: Electric Theatre
Located in the north London inner city district of Tottenham, adjacent to the Palace Theatre. As its name implies this was originally built as a roller skating rink which opened on 14th February 1910. It was designed by architect Ewen S. Barr and also included a 500 seat Electric Theatre which had a very short life;opening on 19th March 1910 and closing on 25th June 1910 at the same time as the rink. The roller skating craze was popular in the early-1900’s but soon waned.
The building was stripped out and the entire space was re-designed as a cinema by architect Edward A. Stone of the firm Norfolk & Pryor. It opened as the Canadian Rink Cinema on 29th June 1911 and was owned by North London Palaces Ltd. Seating was provided on one level and it was a fairly basic building with roof trusses showing rather than being hidden by a plaster ceiling.
By 1920 the owners were Northern Metropolitan Theatres Ltd. By 1925 it had closed as a cinema, possibly due to the adjacent Palace Theatre converting to full time cinema use (and taking the name Canadian Cinema for a while).
The Canadian Rink Cinema was converted into a dance hall known as the Tottenham Palais and became a well known North London nightspot for several decades. Later owned by Mecca Dancing Ltd, by the 1960’s it was known as the Tottenham Royal and in latter years became the Aztec Temple nightclub. It was demolished in 2004 and housing built on the site.
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Here is a Pathe newsreel showing the Dave Clark Five at the “Royal”– quite good as it’s in colour and shows some of the building too: