ABC Camberwell, London

    Newer Older

    Located at 262-274 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, London. SE5, this opened as the Regal Cinema on 17th June 1940. It was designed in an Art Deco style by Leslie H. Kemp and had a seating capacity of 2,470.

    In December 1961 it was re-named ABC Cinema and closed on 27th October 1973. It was converted into a bingo club, operated by Gala Bingo until February 2010. It has been purchased by a church. The building is Listed Grade II.

    1. J Mark Dodds [a shadow of my future self] 61 months ago | reply

      Something to ponder, and perhaps pass on to everyone you know in the whole wide world:


      If you love Camberwell, if you care about Camberwell, read this. And, if you agree with it, pass it on to everyone you know who also cares about the future of this marvellous, unkempt, sadly run down part of London. WE might just be able to make it change for once and for all. There are links below which provide a lot of useful information. The people who got this work together are all people like you — who care — who came together in the space of a week. We just CARE and we desperately want to see Camberwell improve! Please enjoy and join in!

      The former Gala Bingo hall is a 2000 seater grade 2 listed building with fabulous art deco interiors a stone’s throw from Camberwell Green, the centre of population to 40,000 people who have no substantial space for entertainment or civic congregation local to them. Last week Gala vacated the site and sold it, without notice, to an evangelical church group. This is a private sale. In legal principle it is a commercial transaction made between two willing parties and that’s that. But this situation is special. In short it is about hoping to achieve something invaluable for everyone in the area — of all faiths — something which will touch, improve and positively impact on more people’s lives than any faith denomination could ever hope to benefit. The fact is Camberwell is replete with churches while it perennially suffers from the absence even ONE venue appropriate for secular congregation.

      Camberwell has an extraordinarily rich cultural history and one of the most diverse population ranges in the entire UK. Camberwell has a remarkable concentration of people from the Creative Industries from all levels, disciplines and backgrounds imaginable. Camberwell also has the heritage of being a centre of artistic innovation and excellence originating from pre Victorian times.

      There are NO secular venues in the area that accommodate large audiences — no substantial venue for the performing arts, for music, for entertainments with general appeal. There are many voluntary and third sector organisations in the area who struggle perennially to find administrative facilities and a physical base from which to work. There are well respected community event organisations based in Camberwell who struggle to, who cannot, commission events here because there is nowhere that can accommodate even moderately large events. The Gala Bingo site has the potential to comprehensively address many of these serious, socially damaging, gaps in local provision of cultural and civic amenity.

      If the existing facilities at the Gala Bingo site could be intelligently improved, enhanced, extended and redeveloped it could meet, deliver and exceed a long identified, well recognised and — perennially neglected — widespread, burgeoning local demand for the provision of high quality arts, culture, civic amenity and heritage which the whole population would immediately gain benefit from.

      If, by some extraordinary turn of events driven by widespread consensus on the most desirable outcome for its future, the Gala site were to come under direct community control through the auspices of a Camberwell Community Development Trust, Camberwell’s current forlorn, downtrodden and sorely neglected position could change dramatically for the better, for ever.

      The Gala site presents a UNIQUE opportunity for everyone living, loving, working or passing through Camberwell. It is ideally positioned with the potential to be developed into an iconic landmark destination which celebrates the area’s unparalleled, fantastic cultural mixes, influences, aspirations in one venue, a venue of national architectural and cultural importance.


      the ‘cinema’ reference is too narrow. A broader description will emerge in time

      Facebook Group Cinema for Camberwell
      Cinema Website
      Camberwell Online blog
      A poster / flyer for your consideration small medium large
      Places of worship and of amenity and leisure within one mile of Camberwell Green

      Please forward this email to everyone you know who cares.

      With best wishes

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts