Picture House

42-44 Old Kent Road,
London, SE1

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Rank Organisation, United Picture Theatres Ltd.

Architects: Edward Albert Stone

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Old Kent Picture Palace

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Picture House

Located in the southeast London inner city district of Walworth. The Old Kent Picture Palace opened in February 1910, with 1,600 seats, all on a single floor. It was operated by E.M. Barker’s Picture Palaces of Vauxhall Bridge Road. In 1918, it was enlarged by adding a balcony and a Hill pipe organ with 2Manuals had been installed.

Further rebuilding raised the roof, enlarged the balcony and the auditorium, and this was to the plans of noted cinema architect Edward Albert Stone. It re-opened as a 1,993 seat cinema in November 1926.

Taken over by the United Picture Theatres circuit in January 1928, they were taken over by Gaumont Theatres from July 1930. The Old Kent Picture House was closed by bombing during World War II, but had re-opened by 1944.

By 1947 it was known as the Picture House, and was a very early closure by the Rank Organisation on 27th October 1956 with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in "Pardners" and Tom Conway in "Breakaway".

The building was demolished to form part of a new road scheme which became the site of the Bricklayers Arms flyover.

Contributed by Ken Roe
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