Granada Welling

50 Bellegrove Road,
Welling, DA16 3PY

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Granada Theatres Ltd.

Architects: George Coles

Styles: Art Deco, Spanish Renaissance

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Granada Welling

Located in Welling, a district to the south-east of Greater London. The Granada Theatre was opened on 2nd February 1938 with Edward G. Robinson in "Kid Galahad" and Jean Arthur in "Easy Living". The official opening was attended by film stars Jessie Matthews and her husband Sonnie Hale.

The facade was in brick, with five large vertical windows in the centre, allowing light into the foyer, and a vertical fin sign with the name ‘Granada’. There were shop units adjacent on each side of the entrance. Internal decorations were by Theodore Komisarjevsky, and were based on his so called ‘standard’ Granada style, but with a few subtle changes. The Granada was equipped with a fine Wurlitzer 3Manual/8Ranks organ with a grand piano attached, which was opened by organist Robinson Cleaver.

The Granada was tripled in May 1975, with 598 seats in the former circle Screen 1, and two screens in the former rear stalls which seated 229 and 230. The re-opening films on 5th May 1975 were "Breakout" and "Lords of the Flatbush" in Screen 1, "Bazing Saddles" in Screen 2, and "Start the Revolution Without Me" in Screen 3. Popular organ concerts were still held in the Granada on Sunday mornings into the late-1970’s, but these were halted when a resident living neaby complained about the ‘noise’ of the organ.

The Granada was closed on 30th July 1983, with "Return of the Jedi", "Superman II" and "Sweet Body of Bianca". The Wurlitzer organ was removed and is now installed in the Woking Leisure Centre.

The building was sold for redevelopment, and was demolished in October 1986. Shops with housing above have been built on the site. One of the original shop units to the left of the cinema entrance was retained, and in 2009 contains Celal’s Gentleman’s Barber, with the Welling Snooker & Pool hall upstairs.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 10, 2010 at 5:14 am

A set of vintage photographs of the Granada Welling;
View link

halen24 on January 24, 2015 at 7:57 am

What a lovely cinema this was, Great childhood memories of this place.Stood derelict for a number of years and vandals got in and smashed the place up. Remember sneeking in for a look when derelict it very sad to see the place in such a bad way.

DavidZornig on December 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm

1959 Granada Welling promotional photo added of Sid Terror’s Haunted Film Vault Facebook page.

lee280269 on March 28, 2023 at 11:25 am

Thank you Peter for kindly sharing this, i am 54 and used to go to the cinema there in the late 70’s and early 80’s and have very fond memories of the place hence me commenting on here. if you have any other stories of the place or pics i would love to hear / see them, best regards Lee

PeterTheNut on March 28, 2023 at 11:31 am

My Father was present at the opening night in 1938. Some 30 years later I used to play the Wurlitzer for ‘private practice’ on the occasional Saturday morning. A lovely organ, but by then not in the best of condition. I heard about the resident’s complaint and the cancellation of the Sunday morning concerts, and can say that it was a spurious complaint. The organ could be heard outside the theatre, but only very faintly. In no way could it be have been realistically deemed ‘a nuisance’ - even when someone as hopeless as I was playing it!! Happy memories of days with can never return. I was privileged to play the organ, and will always remember those experiences with great gratitude.

PeterTheNut on March 28, 2023 at 11:46 am

Hi Lee. Thanks so much for your generous comment. I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures to hand of the Welling Granada. Those that I do are on 35mm ‘slides’, and stored somewhere where in the house. Unfortunately, due to severe arthritis I’m not now able to access them. However, I have a picture of me in those days (about 1968/69) ‘playing’ the Wurlitzer organ in the neighbouring Granada theatre, in Woolwich. I fully appreciate this is all about the theatre, and not about me, but it might still possibly be of interest? The Woolwich theatre was far more ornate than Welling, and is now a church. The current owners have spent a fortune in restoring the decorative scheme of the auditorium and ‘Hall of Mirrors’, although clearly necessary alterations have been made to make it suitable for its new use.

All good wishes and my kindest regards.

Peter A :) :) :)_

lee280269 on April 6, 2023 at 9:00 am

Dear Peter thank you so much for the timely & kind response. I would love to see the pics of Woolwich and you etc ironically i was born in 1969 around the time the photos were taken. Never seen inside the Woolwich would love to see it all thank you so much, look forward to hearing from you. best regards Lee

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