A drawing taken from The Church Under the Hill, WY Fullerton, published 1924
Buildings demolished to make way for the new Metropole Theatre.
The Metropole Theatre under construction.
Undated postcard but early 1900’s
Postcard circa 1908
The Metropole was succeeded by the Camberwell Empire
In 1939 The Camberwell Empire was demolished and replaced by the Camberwell Odeon but not before it spent some time as the New Empire Cinema.
The New Empire Cinema had it’s entrance in the traditional corner position.
The Odeon was built by Mather & Roberts and and seated 2,470- 1,484 in the stalls and 986 in the circle. It opened on 20th March 1939 with Fred McMurray in “Men With Wings”.
The Odeon had dual matching entrances one on Denmark Hill and one on Coldharbour Lane. Each entrance had a tower above it with Odeon signage.
It suffered some minor bomb damage during 1944 and this was quickly patched up.
The Dad’s Army film shown in the photo below had it’s South London release on April 11, 1971 following it’s premiere at the Columbia, Shaftsbury Avenue, March 15 1971.
In it’s last years the entrance on Coldharbour Lane (see below photo) was closed off as was the Stalls. The Odeon was closed on 5th July 1975 with it’s final film being The Night Porter starring Dirk Bogarde.
And on 24 January 1981 Dickie Dirts -a discount jeans emporium moved in.
Photograph taken by Ian Grundy in 1987.
Dickie Dirts only lasted a few years and for a long time probably around 10 years the building was abandoned and allowed to decay, often occupied by squatters. In 1993 the old cinema building was demolished and the Foyer was built.
Two photos by Nick Stevens, April 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stagedoor/ The Flickr site of Ian Grundy.