Then and Now: Palladium Cinema/Fridge, Brixton Hill
Photographic comparisons of old and modern views of Lambeth
c. 1915 The Palladium Cinema was conveniently situated adjacent to the Town Hall. It was one of nine cinemas opened in Brixton between 1910-1915, the sole survivor now being the Ritzy.
Designed by Gilbert Booth and opened on the 20th March 1913, this Edwardian venue originally opened as the Palladium Cinema.
Surviving as a cinema for nearly 70 years before closure in March 1981, the building went through several names, changing from the Palladium, to the Regal in 1956 (-1963), the ABC 1963-1977 and the ACE 1977-1981.
Inside, the rear auditorium survives, but the classical frontage block of rusticated stone surmounted by a domed tower was destroyed during the 1955 remodelling.
April 2003 Now stripped of its Edwardian Baroque decoration, the building has been known as the Fridge since 1985, hosting popular club nights. Previously, it was a down-to-earth music venue called the 'Brixton Ace', putting on bands like The Clash and The Smiths (your esteemed editor also headlined the Ace, sadly playing to a, err, 'highly selective' crowd!). Note that the Town Hall clock tower is still there, but hidden under plastic sheeting for refurbishment.
» Fridge history, archive photos
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