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 cliffjharrison77 on Dec 5th, 2014.
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 Comments & Feedback

Wed Jun 12th 2019, at 4:39 pm
len.c.mitchell commented:
I used to go to Saturday morning pictures at the Kings cinema, we lived in railway place down the side of Loves builders off Hartfield road. It was all knocked down for an office block. I remember kennards department store with the slogan "While I live I grow" with the picture of an oak tree, on the ground by the entrance. It was taken over by a company Called Cordells.
Sun Jul 12th 2015, at 7:29 pm
trishnewbchase commented:
It wasn't Elys, it was LeFeves, opp Woolworths, g g on overhead wires which ran to a cash desk! Your right abt the Cinemas, went 2 Saturday Morning Cinema at the Gaumont. Oliver Reed used 2 stand under Wimbledon Theatre , which I think was a Bowling Arcade. Worked in Kennards (opp where Morrisons(Safeways) is now, when first left school. Lived in Pelham Rd.
Sun Jul 12th 2015, at 6:27 pm
esch commented:
The department store with the overhead wire systems was called Ely's

I lived in South Wimbledon from 1944 to 1956.

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