Carlton Cinema


Part of the former Carlton Cinema chain, this picture house on Essex Road opened in 1930 with a capacity for 2,226. The discovery of Tutankhamun in 1922 caused London to be flooded with Egyptian-inspired buildings, particularly in cinema design and this is one of the best surviving examples. You can see the use of brightly coloured lotus flowers and buds motifs as well as the overall ‘temple’ shape. 

Here’s what it looked like just before opening:


The interior was no less grand:


Image from

Sadly, with declining popularity, it closed as a cinema in 1972 and became a bingo hall, which then closed in 2007 due to the forthcoming smoking ban.

The Grade II listed building was fully restored in 2015 and is available to hire 5 days a week (on Tuesdays and Sundays it’s used for a local prayer group).

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