Working Men's Club Cinema

Wellington Street and Montagu Street,
Kettering, NN16 8SG

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Additional Info

Functions: Housing

Previous Names: Kettering Working Men's Club

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Working Men's Club Cinema

In Kettering, Northamptonshire, the Kettering Working Men’s Club opened in 1887. This very substantial building included a Reading Room, Billiard Room, Skittle Alley, Smoke Room, Library (with 2,000 books) - and a large Concert Hall.

The first confirmed film shows in the Concert Hall were in 1930. A projection room had been built, and the silent films were soon overtaken, the following year, by sound pictures using British Talking Pictures [BTP] equipment. The screen was fixed to the rear stage wall; the speakers were above the proscenium and there were screen tabs. There were two dressing rooms.

These were part-time shows, at weekends only, and the seating was set out cabaret-style, with chairs around separate tables. However, the shows were sufficient to result in entries in the Kinematograph Year Books.

The Club was closed in 1941 and requisitioned for wartime use.

After the war, it had one more, brief, fling with films, with 16mm shows being presented from 1952 to 1953.

In the 1960’s pop stars such as Status Quo, Marmalade, The Tremeloes, Love Affair and Long John Baldry performed on Sunday nights.

The Club closed in July 1991, when the building was taken over by Kettering Sports and Leisure Club.

More recently, it has been converted into flats, called The Courtyard.

Contributed by David Simpson
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