Commodore Theatre

395 King Street,
London, W6 9NJ

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Associated British Cinemas Ltd.

Architects: George Coles

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

Commodore Cinema

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.

Contributed by David Clarke, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 2, 2008 at 5:24 am

Despite the fact it was then operating as a Mecca Bingo Club, the Commodore Cinema hosted two concerts by the Rolling Stones pop group on Sunday 10th January 1965.

AdoraKiaOra on February 2, 2008 at 10:41 am

What a gorgeous cinema. I dream of seeing movies in palaces like this.

Mike_Blakemore on October 21, 2011 at 4:52 pm

At Last I have found a picture of the Commodore.. It is not good.. But there might not be any other around…

Mike_Blakemore on November 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

The Original General Manager was “Jack Hart” Who previous was general manager of “The Holborn Empire” He Trained the Manager (Frank W. Attoe) Who later trained me in management at the ABC Walsall…

Mike_Blakemore on November 16, 2014 at 8:52 am

The Organist Harry Davidson later Played the Organ at Our Regal Cinema Henley on Thames..

Biffaskin on January 6, 2021 at 6:43 am

Initially converted into an Alpha Bingo Club before Mecca took over. Mike Blakemore’s image shows BINGO on the canopy, still with the neon ABC triangle on the building.

terry on January 6, 2021 at 9:58 am

3 photos uploaded. ABC presented many live shows here at one time; the capacity (including standing room) was over 3,000. Their smaller Regal (2,200 seats) was pressed into more extensive live use following the closure of the Commodore.

rivest266 on May 28, 2021 at 9:38 am

Colorized photo and grand opening ad posted.

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