Lost Brixton: Palladium Cinema (Fridge)
Celebrating lost landmarks of Brixton
Opening as the Palladium Picture Playhouse opened on 20th March 1913, the cinema was designed by Gilbert Booth to blend in with the Edwardian splendour of the adjacent Town hall.
1914 A view of the Palladium Picture Playhouse a year after opening, with billboards promising 'Ceasless Entertainment from 2 to 11pm Daily.'
Built and operated by National Electric Theatres Ltd, the cinema mixed Neo-Classical with Baroque architecture, the auditorium provided seating in stalls and balcony levels for a total of 1,200.
c. 1915 Edwardian view of the Palladium Picture Playhouse.
Taken over by Suburban Super Cinemas Ltd in 1923, the cinema was kitted out three years later with the only Wurlitzer 2Manual/4Rank Model B in England
There was another change of ownership in October 1929 with Associated British Cinemas (ABC) buying up the property and renaming it the Palladium Cinema.
1946 Large queues can be seen outside the Palladium in this post war view.
The cinema closed on 24th April 1956 for a radical reconstruction which saw the attractive Edwardian facade being replaced by a plain moderne, frill-free look.
Early 1970s A view of the brutally modernised facade. Climt Eastwood's 'Dirty harry' is showing.
Reopening on 24th September 1956 as the Regal Cinema, seating inside had been boosted to a total of 1,156, with 876 in the stalls and 278 in the balcony.
2006 Contemporary view of the Fridge.
Seven years later, another new name was unveiled, ABC Brixton (from 20th October 1963) but this was only to last until 23rd October 1977 when the cinema was leased to an Independent operator and re-named Ace Cinema.
The cinema finally closed on 28th March 1981, although the building stayed in use as a concert venue and roller-disco, before reemerging as The Fridge nightclub in June 1985.
2003 Night view.
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