ABC Camberwell

262-274 Camberwell Road,
London, SE5 ODP

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: Leslie H. Kemp

Functions: Church

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Regal Cinema

Nearby Theaters

The House of Praise Camberwell London

Located on the corner of Medlar Street and Camberwell Road in the southeast London inner-city district of Camberwell. The Regal Cinema opened on 17th June 1940 with little ceremony. It was already partially built when World War II broke out and was allowed to be completed. Initially it was project of D.J. James Circuit (planned in 1937 and to be called the Florida Cinema), but was sold to Associated British Cinemas prior to completion.

It was one of the largest suburban cinemas in London and had a splendid Art Deco style. The splay walls beside the proscenium opening have fluted columns, upon which are mounted slender glass light fittings and there is a decorative grille in the centre of the columns.

Within weeks of opening, in September 1940, the Regal Cinema was closed by bomb damage (which killed some patrons) but it quickly re-opened on 6th October 1940.

From 17th December 1961 it was re-named ABC and continued as a successful single screen cinema until closing on 27th October 1973 with James Coburn in “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” and David Bailey in “Wicked, Wicked”.

It was converted into an Alpha Bingo Hall and has had several companies operating the building over the years including Jasmine Bingo. It operated as a Gala Bingo Club until late-February 2010, when it was closed suddenly, and the building was sold to a church. It is a Grade II Listed building.

On June 13, Southwark Council approved plans to build on the car park of the building, an 8-storey tower block containing 43-flats and a new facilities for the House of Praise Pentecostal Church. The Listed building is not affected.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Ian on January 29, 2007 at 1:04 am

Two interior photographs of the Camberwell Regal/ABC taken in 1988, when it was operating as a bingo hall.



haynesta on January 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

Just a small point but the marker on the map for this cinema is some distance from its actual location which is at the corner of Medlar Stree and Camberwell Road, SE5

CamberwellLove on November 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Here is a current photo of this great building on the outside

CamberwellLove on November 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Ian on December 31, 2018 at 9:16 am

Two further interior shots from 1988 :–



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