Tom Phillips - 20 Slideshows

20 Slideshows

19. The Cinema. c. 5.15 pm.

  • 1973

  • 1974

  • 1975

  • 1976

  • 1977

  • 1978

  • 1979

  • 1980

  • 1981

  • 1982

  • 1983

  • 1984

  • 1985

  • 1986

  • 1987

  • 1988

  • 1989

  • 1990

  • 1991

  • 1992

  • 1993

  • 1994

  • 1995

  • 1996

  • 1997

  • 1998

  • 1999

  • 2000

  • 2001

  • 2002

  • 2003

  • 2004

  • 2005

  • 2006

  • 2007

  • 2008

  • 2009

  • 2010

  • 2011

  • 2012

  • 2013

  • 2014

  • 2015

  • 2016

  • 2017

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1973 was the middle of a low point in British cinema-going but the Peckham Odeon survived. In 1974 like many suburban cinemas it divided into three to boost attendances and carried on in this form until 1981 when it suddenly became the Ace Film Centre, under which name it closed in 1984. Finally, to celebrate British Film Year in 1985, it was demolished. By 1988 construction was quite advanced of a quasi Postmodernist building which did not declare its identity. I later discovered that it was the rear of the (un)employment exchange's new premises.

The full bank of neon lights under the cinema's canopy is only seen in 1973. After that for reasons either economic or artistic, various combinations of partial lighting in serial form were tried, even under Ace management.

The Anglo Bengal Restaurant next door becomes the Anglo Indian in 1983 and the New Anglo Indian in 1986 though this intermittent patron can testify that there was no improvement in the food and the service remained just as rude. In 1989 it becomes a Vietnamese restaurant whose title could be, because of the visual interruption, Viet Cong but is fact Viet Hing.

A shop seen beyond the Odeon sells bicycles and not only continues to advertise on the wall facing us cycles that have not been in production since the war, but fought a similar rearguard action in respect of decimalisation. In 1985 it still had many items in the window marked at 13/11d and 1.14.9d etc. The Fish bar is 'improved' in 1989 and becomes the The Chick King Inn.

In Jubilee year the cinema sported a huge image of a bear which gradually faded over the next five years. I only learned recently that this advertised a film called Grizzly which I missed.

People here are usually confined to those using the pedestrian crossing.