Clifton Brixton

101-103 Brixton Hill,
London, SW2 1AA

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Clifton Circuit, Pyke's Cinematograph Theatres

Functions: Church

Previous Names: Brixton Hill Cinematograph Theatre, Scala Cinema, New Royalty Kinema

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Clifton Brixton

Located in the southwest London inner-city district of Brixton. The Brixton Hill Cinematograph Theatre opened on 10th March 1911, and was 13th of Montagu A. Pyke’s chain of Cinematograph Theatres to open in London and its suburbs. It had a narrow entrance on Brixton Hill and the auditorium was set well back. In 1914, after Montagu Pyke lost his cinema chain due to being imprisoned following the death of a projectionist in a fire at the Pykes Cinematograph Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London, it was taken over by new operators and renamed Scala Cinema.

By 1927 it was operating under the name New Royalty Kinema. In the late-1940’s it was taken over by the Birmingham based Clifton Cinemas circuit, and was re-named Clifton Cinema by 1950.

The Clifton Cinema was closed on 10th August 1957 with Guy Madison in "The Beast of Hollow Mountain" and George Montgomery in "Robbers Roost". It was converted into a camping store selling tents and other outdoor equipment. In 1976, rock band Led Zeppelin released their live album “The Song Remains the Same”. The album cover artwork features the former Clifton Cinema in a dilapidated state. The illustration was created by artist George Hardie who designed record album covers for the band Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin featured the cinema on the album cover as their regular recording studios are located on Brixton Hill.

By 1993, the auditorium had been demolished, and the front entrance and foyer was in use as a restaurant. By early-2020 it was in use as a church.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

woody on April 1, 2009 at 4:32 am

seen here in 2006 still with the camping sign, i think its been repainted since

spencerphobbs on September 23, 2014 at 6:37 am

Just a point out an error in the mention of it being renamed the Scala in 1914, which is incorrect, as is the mention of it ever operating under the name “Royalty Kinema” which it never did (only ever “New Royalty” or “New Royalty Kinema”). As for the front being “given a modern treatment” in 1937, it still had the original 1910 entrance doors, poster boards and looked much the same in the 1980’s as it had done when it first opened!

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