Gaumont Bromley

44 High Street,
Bromley, BR1 1EA

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Gaumont-British-Picture Corp., Ltd., Provincial Cinematograph Theatres Ltd., Rank Organisation

Architects: William Edward Trent

Functions: Furniture Showroom, Retail

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

Gaumont Cinema

Located at the southern end of the High Street on the corner of Ravensbourne Road, close to Bromley South Railway Station in the south-east district of Bromley, in what today is part of Greater London. The Gaumont was opened by Gaumont British Theatres & Provincial Cinematograph Theatres(PCT) on 23rd November 1936, with Robert Taylor in "Secret Interlude"(Private Number) and Ralph Lynn in "In the Soup"

The exterior was faced in brick, with horizontal banding, and there was a flat topped tower on the corner over the entrance, which was faced in faiance tiles. A large vertical fin sign on the tower carried the name ‘Gaumont’ on both sides in neon.

The design of the auditorium was unique, in an undersea effect resembling the inside of a gigantic shell. With shell features around the elliptical proscenium arch, the entire colour scheme was in graded mother of pearl tints, and the whole space very much resembled the shape of the auditorium of Radio City Music Hall in Manhatten, New York. The Gaumont had a fully equipped large stage to host stage shows. It was equipped with a 4Manual/10Rank Compton organ, with the console on a lift to the left side of the orchestra pit, it was opened by organist Terance Casey. There was also a cafe/restaurant which could seat 150.

The Gaumont was closed by the Rank Organisation on 18th February 1961 with Bradford Dillman in "Circle of Deception" and Richard Basehart in "None but the Brave"(For the Love of Mike).

The building was gutted internally and converted into a department store. By 2009, the building has been sub-divided into several stores, one being Habitat (by 2022 a Dreams bedding shop), which is located at the former entrance to the Gaumont.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 6, 2009 at 11:12 am

Here a a couple of vintage photographs of the site of the Gaumont Bromley in 1935:
View link
A postcard view of Bromley High Street and the Gaumont in the late-1940’s or early 1950’s:

patjk on January 28, 2013 at 12:29 am

I was living in Bromley Common in the mid-1950s. My parents ran a grocery store there which, because it had a billboard for the Gaumont outside the shop, gave us free tickets each week. I used them to good effect. However, I seem to remember two other cinemas in Bromley at the same time. One was certainly the Astor (it was called something else by then), but there was a third, near the Astor, and for the life of me I can’t think what it was called. I saw “The Vikings” (1958) there. Does anyone know the name of this cinema?

bob dubery
bob dubery on December 12, 2015 at 1:50 pm

I used to frequent the Victor Sylvester dance studio that was on the first floor of the Gaumont. Very popular in the late ‘50’s , early 60’s. Pat Deeley was the leader of the pack..No alcohol but a coffee bar was an integral part of the dance floor. Open every evening of the week, with a special Saturday dance when you were supposed to bring your weekday dance partner. Very difficult if you had a different partner Monday to Friday. I lived in Shirley, near Croydon at the time. The last bus (119) left Bromley for Croydon at around 10.15 p.m. So if you wanted to see your date home, you had to walk home, around 5 miles. No cars or even scooters for 17 year olds at that time.

Re cinemas, the other two were the Odeon at the other end of the High Street and quite near to the Odeon, the Pullman, often referred to as the flea pit.

Alan Baker
Alan Baker on March 19, 2017 at 12:24 pm

Rank had two cinemas in Bromley, the Gaumont and the Odeon. Until January 1959 there were separate weekly Odeon and Gaumont releases, but in that month Rank reorganised its cinemas into two new release streams, Rank release and National release. The best Odeons and Gaumonts were combined to form the Rank release, while the rest got the (usually) inferior National release. In Bromley the Gaumont took the Rank release, leaving the Odeon with the National. For years the Gaumont release had been generally inferior to the Odeon release, so this was a reversal of fortune for the Bromley cinemas. This, of course, only lasted for a couple of years as the Gaumont was sold off for redevelopment and the Odeon took the Rank release (the National release was in any case dying on its feet by this time).

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