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Report - - Megabowl / Former Gaumont Cinema, Streatham - September 2014 | Theatres and Cinemas | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Megabowl / Former Gaumont Cinema, Streatham - September 2014

Techwreckie

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
This has been done plenty of times before, so I've tried to focus on a few things I didn't see in other reports. Explored pretty much the whole building, including the roof and attic space above the false ceiling. One part we couldn't find a way into at all was the dressing room block behind the fly tower - building plans I have from the bowling alley era also show this section as seemingly totally bricked off from the rest of the site, with only a sealed outside door giving access. I'm wondering if the block was separated and then either left unused or rented out as offices or something. The whole stage/fly tower area certainly looked pretty disused.

There isn't much left of the building's cinema history - you can see a little of the original ceiling in the upper bowling alley, and there's an empty projection room; otherwise they've done a pretty thorough job of gutting it out and rebuilding it.

Poor pictures as my main camera seems to need some repairs, so was just using a point and shoot.

History from Cinema Treasures...

Located in the south-west inner London district of Streatham. The Gaumont Palace opened on 14th March 1932. It was designed in an Art Deco style by architectural firm of Charles Nicholas & J.E. Dixon-Spain. It is located on Streatham Hill at the corner of Ardwell Street. It featured an open-air terrace above the entrance which served teas on good weather days!

In early-July 1944 it was seriously damaged by a German V1 rocket bomb and was closed. The damaged building then became a temporary factory until building restrictions were lifted and the interior was entirely reconstructed to the designs of architectural firm T.P. Bennett & Son.

It re-opened as the Gaumont on 18th July 1955 with Dirk Bogarde in "Doctor At Sea". The seating capacity was now 1,873. It closed on 25th March 1961 with Sophia Loren in "A Breath of Scandal" and Joy Barney in "Blueprint For A Robbery".

The interior was re-constructed again and it was converted into a 36-lane bowling alley known as the Streatham Bowl which opened on 29th January 1962. The Streatham Bowl was closed in early-2008 and plans are proposed for re-developement. Hopes are that at least the facade will be retained.
Ball return (the skittle laying machines are all gone :( )
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Creepy children's bowling shoes
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Change machine
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Daily Express from 1969!
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Laser tag arena upstairs
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Original stage area - this has had a ceiling put in, and was full of random household furniture, including 2 bathtubs and these wheelchairs! It's only accessible from a single doorway, as the stage has been totally blocked off. If you looked up through a hole in the ceiling you could appreciate the full height of the massive fly tower. This room looked like it hadn't been used in a long time.
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Scenery dock (from the inside)
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Old projection room. The projection windows here (albeit bricked up) looked out into a massive void between the auditorium ceiling and the true roof (you've probably seen this in other reports), so I think this can only have been used for projection in the pre-1944 cinema, with the new auditorium having a false ceiling hanging below where the original was.
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Lift - this serviced only the 1st floor and I think the ground floor doors opened only to the street for delivery of food/drink etc.
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Walk-in fridge
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Most of the small basement was pretty empty and obviously hadn't been touched in a long time. Some of it was flooded to a few inches. This huge crawlspace seemed to extend under most of the building, getting smaller and smaller towards the foyer end.
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