10 Randlesdown Road,
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Fellowship Cinema (Official)
Architects: F.G. Newnham
Functions: Movies (First Run), Movies (Independent)
Styles: Tudor Revival
Previous Names: Bellingham Film Palace
Located in the Bellingham district in south London, to the south of Catford. The London County Council’s Bellingham Housing Estate was built in 1923/1924 as ‘Homes for Heroes’ and their families when World War I veterans had returned from the conflict. Opened as the Fellowship Inn, it became the focal point for an evening out on the estate. The Tudor Revival style building was designed by architect F.G. Newnham, house architect for the brewery Barclay Perkins Co. As well as all the normal pub facilities boasting two bars, it had a 200-seat music hall and a large function room. In the 1960’s the pub was home to British boxing champion Henry Cooper who trained at the pub for his first (of four) fights with Cassius Clay (before he became Muhammad Ali) (Cooper won that one in a knockout). The Fellowship Inn also hosted groups such as Fleetwood Mac and Eric Clapton onto its stage. By September 2017 the pub had become run down and in a state of disrepair and it was closed.
Taken over by the Electric Star group of pubs, work began on a £4million National Lottery funded restoration which was completed for its re-opening as The Fellowship and Star on 4th June 2019. A 56-seat first-run cinema, known as the Bellingham Film Palace now operates in one of the rooms, which retains its original décor from 1924.
In 2022 it was renamed Fellowship Cinema. Films are screened every day of the week.
The Fellowship and Star is a Grade II listed building.
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Recent comments (view all 1 comments)
The Fellowship and Star was built on steeply sloping ground. Indeed, cinema patrons arriving at its entrance on Randlesdown Road are directed down steps on the left hand side to the cinema entrance at the rear, which is off Knapmill Road. That entrance is branded as Milky Way Bar and Cafe. The 1920s function room that houses the Film Palace has, understandably and inevitably, lost much of its original decor in the transformation into a very comfortable, modern cinema, but there are still nice traces (in particular, columns down each side and the ceiling features) and the original entrance doors have been retained. Another ‘plus’ these days is the presence of tabs, resulting in a very welcoming atmosphere. Also welcome, at least when I visited, on 19th November 2019 to see the early evening screening of romantic comedy “Last Christmas”, was the absence of any adverts or trailers: the film started straight after an excellent short film about the restoration of the inn. The staff made me very welcome, and I wished them good fortune for this wonderful venture.