Cameo Cinema

53 St. John's Street,
Colchester, CO2 7AD

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: County Cinemas Ltd., Odeon Theatres Ltd., Star Cinemas

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Electric Theatre, Headgate Theatre, Headgate Cinema, Cameo Arts Cinema

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19 Oct 2012

Located in Colchester, Essex, on St. John’s Street at the corner of Head Street. Originally built as a Liberal Club & Assembly Rooms. It was converted into the Electric Theatre, opening as a cinema on 31st November 1910. All seating was on a single floor. There was also a tea lounge, and it had some stage facilities and one dressing room.

In 1922 it became part of the Agar Circuit and was re-named Headgate Theatre. Taken over by the County Cinemas circuit on 24th March 1935, it was re-named Headgate Cinema. In September 1939, County Cinemas were taken over by the Oscar Deutsch chain of Odeon Theatres Ltd. and they operated the Headgate Cinema until 22nd June 1952, when the lease expired.

It was taken over by an independent operator in August 1952 and was re-named Cameo Cinema. In January 1967, it became a branch of the National Film Theatre and was re-named Cameo Arts Cinema. In 1972 it was taken over by the Leeds based Star Cinemas chain and they operated it as the Cameo Cinema until they closed it on 4th December 1972.

It was converted into shops, and the interior has been gutted. Ministry of Hair operated out of the former foyer until the late-2000’s. In October 2012, it was operating as Colchester Cycle Stores.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

CSWalczak on September 8, 2012 at 10:35 am

There is a picture of the theatre as the Electric on this webpage; it will enlarge slightly if clicked upon.

joesales on October 16, 2014 at 1:45 am

This local film of Colchester features the Cameo in 1978 (at 4:18), shortly after closure.

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