Camberwell Electric Theatre

388 Old Kent Road,
London, SE1 5AA

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Nelson Electric Theatre

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Camberwell Electric Theatre

Actually located in the southeast London inner city district of Camberwell, on the corner of Old Kent Road and Trafalgar Avenue. The Camberwell Electric Theatre opened in 1911. It was a corner shop conversion. Around 1918, it was re-named Nelson Electric Theatre. Always a silent cinema, it reverted back to its original name before closing around 1931, when the supply of silent films were no longer available.

In 2009, the building is used as a charity shop known as ‘The People’s Project’.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

brianmills on August 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm


the nelson electric theatre , 388 old kent road. Harry mills ran the cinema from about 1918 and also lived there. On 6th april 1924 he showed a film “woman to woman” which had been given an ‘A’ rating by the british board of censors. He allowed a person under the age of 16 to watch the film who was not accompanied by their parent or guardian. He was prosecuted by the London County Council. The case was heard by magistrates an 5 june 1924. The verdict was given on 12 june 1924 of guilty and a fine of £5 was imposed and 5 guineas costs. He appealed and it went before the Kings bench division nov 14 1924, the vercdict was given in 1925. This held that the LCC could delegate the powers of censorship to the britsh board of censors and that Harry had been guilty. This became important in british case law , being later upheld by lord denning in the law lords.

MarkydeSade on June 3, 2016 at 11:02 pm

Ken Roe’s comment about the theatre being in Bermondsey and not Camberwell is incorrect.

Camberwell of 1911 was not the area we know today, basically Camberwell Green and its surrounds. Camberwell was actually a borough in its own right (as was Bermondsey) and made up the majority of what is the current LB of Southwark.

It was called the Camberwell Electric Theatre because it was in Camberwell.

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