Then and Now: Brixton Theatre and Ritzy, Brixton
Photographic comparisons of old and modern views of Lambeth
1900 Opening a year after the Tate Library next door, the 1894 Brixton Theatre was built by the renowned Theatre Architect, Frank Matcham and offered 'serious' plays with weekly presentations by touring companies.
In the 1930s, the Brixton Repertory Company produced their own versions of West End plays.
At Christmas the theatre would put on popular pantomimes in competition with the nearby Empress Theatre.
A 1938 program revealed the availability of Carlsberg Pilsner, Jenner's Golden Ale, Charrington 'Toby' Ale and Whiteways Cyders at the theatre's bars, along with Clayton's 'pure fruit squashes and mineral waters.'
(pic: Brixton Society)
April 2003 In 1911, the Ritzy Cinema (then known as the Electric Pavilion) was built adjacent to the theatre and it is now the oldest cinema in south London still in use (See: Rex Cinema).
The theatre was destroyed by a high explosive wartime bomb in 1940, and part of its site was used to add extra screens to the Ritzy in the 1990s. The cinema bar and café now stand on the old theatre entrance.
Postcard view of The Brixton Theatre and Tate Library, 1907
» Old theatre posters
» Lost theatres of Brixton
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