Wimbledon Cinemas - a Memory of Wimbledon.
Can I post a few memories of Wimbledon's 4 cinemas. I was born at the Nelson in 1943, and lived locally in Woodside until my early twenties. Just after the war the town had four cinemas. The Odeon in Worple Road was the largest and best, but there was also the Regal at the further end of the Broadway, opposite the junction with Stanley Road, which was another large and imposing building. Opposite was the much smaller Elite cinema, whilst further back along Broadway (just a few yards down from the Theatre) was a real flea-pit called, I think, the Kings. The Regal was renamed Gaumont around the mid fifties, the Elite became ABC during the sixties, and the Kings closed around the late fifties to become an indoor market that others have already commented on. There were also a couple of other cinemas that could be easily reached. In Raynes Park was a small one called, I think, the Rialto, whilst there was another modern Odeon at Shannon Corner on the A3: this one I did visit quite often because its programme schedule was staggered by a week from the Wimbledon one, so I could choose the one whose film I preferred. That was an easy and speedy journey on the 604 or 605 trolley bus from outside Elys.The Wimbledon Odeon also ran a Saturday morning children's club, seat 6d (old money of course) for the front half of the theatre, 9d for the back half (where I always went). Also, does anyone else recall the small department store in the Broadway, roughly opposite Woolworths, which was still using the overhead wire system for conveying customers payments from the sales tables to the central cashier, even in the fifties? The payment and bill was placed into a wheeled cylindrical metal tube that was fitted into a device above the sales table, a handle was pulled and off shot the tube along the wire overhead. Not to be confused with the pneumatic tube devices that were used by some other stores, and still are by some supermarkets in a more modern and limited form. As a teenager I used to work on Saturdays at Wimbledon Aquaria, in Stanley Road, which was owned by an elderly couple by the name of Mills. Happy days!!! Cliff Harrison
A memory shared by on Dec 5th, 2014.
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