395 King Street,
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Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.
Architects: George Coles
Located in the west London district of Hammersmith, the Commodore Theatre lay some distance away from the main shopping centre on King Street at Young’s Corner, Stamford Brook. The foundation stone for the building was laid on 1st January 1929 by actress Tallulah Bankhead. The magnificent Commodore Theatre opened 16th September 1929 with Laura La Plante & Joseph Schildkraut in “Show Boat”. It was built for and operated by an independent operator Commodore National Theatres Ltd. which was controlled by millionaire Ralph Specterman.
This vast cinema was designed for cine-variety and for the first few years that was the programming. Seating was provided in stalls and circle and there was provision for 252 standing spaces within the auditorium, giving a total licenced capacity of 3,136. It was equipped with a Dutch manufactured 3Manual/10Rank Standaart cinema organ, which was opened by organist Harry Davidson. There was also a large 40 piece orchestra employed and the stage was 28 feet deep, the proscenium was 50 feet wide and there were eight dressing rooms. Other facilities in the building were a café and a dancehall.
Associated British Cinemas(ABC) took over from 24th July 1933 and within months the huge stage shows had been dropped and the orchestra disbanded. It continued as a films only cinema with, in the late-1950’s & early-1960’s, occasional live show pop concerts. It was closed on 8th June 1963 with Juliet Mills in “Nurse on Wheels” and Yoko Tani in “First Spaceship on Venus”(Der Schweigende Stern). From 14th June 1963, it was converted into an Alpha Bingo Club and this later continued as a Mecca Bingo Club until 1981.
The building was immediately demolished in January 1982 and an office block known as Quantas House was built on the site. The original foundation stone of the Commodore Theatre was re-sited at the entrance to the new building.
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