Description: Abc Cinema and Regal Ballroom
Date Listed: 21 January 1998
English Heritage Building ID: 469028
OS Grid Reference: TQ3702269402
OS Grid Coordinates: 537022, 169402
Latitude/Longitude: 51.4071, -0.0313
TQ 36 NE HIGH STREET, Beckenham
78512/10048 No. 296 (ABC Cinema and
Triple screen cinema with ballroom, formerly cinema with cafe and restaurant. Designed as the Regal Cinema by the notable cinema architect Robert Cromie and opened in 1930. Adapted for three screens in the 1970s. Built of brown brick with stuccoed corner feature and ground floor to principal elevations. Splayed corner has tall central section with flagpoles and central triple window with Art Deco glazing and is flanked by lower curved bays with windows with stepped architraves. Canopy and doors replaced in late C20. Two windows to right hand side and five to left with original casements to ground floor and marginal glazing to first floor. The foyer retains original Art deco doors with plaster wave moulding above and the staircases remain. The auditorium retains the complete proscenium arch, ornamental ventilation grilles with Art Deco designs, urn decorative features, floral panels and original doors behind the 1970s screen. Behind the proscenium arch is some old equipment likely to be a rectifier unit. Within the later subdivided cinemas the original ceiling decoration with coved panels and decorative grilles is intact, there are side wall stepped panels to the former Circle, the rear wall to the former Stalls has a wave design plaster moulding, the underside of the former Circle retains three octagonal designs which originally held light fittings and the staircases have metal grilles. The attractive Art Deco pattern to the Circle balcony was not seen as it was divided off as the boundary of the smaller cinemas in the 1970s but is likely to survive. The ground floor had a tea room and Art Deco floral and circular designs survive although the wall divisions have been altered. The main entrance and staircase to the original first floor restaurant survive with tiled fire surround in three colours, tessellated floor with chevron pattern, original light fitting, 1950s kiosk and metal panel at the top of the staircase with stylised tree and sunray design. On the first floor is the original restaurant, which later became a ballroom. This has an unaltered Art Deco interior with coffered ceiling with wave patterns, pilasters and central entrance with plastered floral panel above flanked by two three-light panels of oak frames with leaded lights and stained glass and floral plastered panels below. The original restaurant dumb waiter also survives.
David Atwell, "Cathedrals of the Movies", pp 99-101; "ABC The First Name in Entertainment", pp 61-62.
Listing NGR: TQ3703469380
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.