- Rising Sun, 799 Old Kent Road. I think this was near where Hillbeck Close is today.?
Yesterday & Today
How we lived then & How we live now
How we lived then & How we live now
The Old Kent Picture House opened in February 1910, with 1,450 seats, all on a single floor. In 1918, it was enlarged by adding a balcony and a Hill pipe organ with 2Manuals had been installed.
Further rebuilding raised the roof, enlarged the balcony and the auditorium, and this was to the plans of noted cinema architect Edward Albert Stone. It re-opened as a 1,993-seat cinema in November 1926.
Taken over by the United Picture Theatres circuit in January 1928, they were taken over by Gaumont Theatres from July 1930. The Old Kent Picture House was closed by bombing during World War II, but had re-opened by 1944.
By 1947 it was known as the Picture House, and was a very early closure by the Rank Organisation on 27th October 1956 with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in "Pardners" and Tom Conway in "Breakaway".
The building was demolished to form part of a new road scheme which became the site of the Bricklayers Arms flyover.
Bricklayers' Arms, this site has always been associated with that famous hostelry, and early records show that a well was once situated here where travellers to London stopped to water or change their horses when calling at the inn. Later the site became one of the largest horse omnibus yards in the metropolis, and many of the picturesque "knifeboard" vehicles set out from here. The Old Kent Road, once part of the old Pilgrims Way, has always been in fact, one of the main highways into London and for many years Royal and Illustrious travellers made the Bricklayers' Arms a special halting place for ceremonial entrances to the capital. A special railway station was erected later for the reception of distinguished visitors, and here Prince Albert was received when he first visited Queen Victoria. The Emperor Napoleon and the Empress Eugenie also alighted from the train at this spot, when paying a visit at the time of the Crimean War.
The picture of the Thomas A Becket Pub reminds me of something that happened years ago which at the time to me was quite funny. It was about 1960 and I was driving for Beaches in Rouel Road at the time. This particular day I was waiting at the lights in Old Kent Road before turning right into Albany Road by the Thomas A ’Becket pub, in front of me waiting to turn right was a big flash car with about six yobs in it. Anyway, the lights change, and we turn right, on the left parked half on half off the pavement is a car, now if anyone can remember Albany Road it was quite narrow, so with traffic coming the other way the car in front couldn’t get passed. This didn’t go down to well with the yobs, hooter blaring; windows open all sorts of language, to move the car out of the way. No response from the people with the car on the pavement, who were bending down by the nearside front wheel. Now all the doors fly open and they begin to get out, next the two people on the pavement stand up, Henry Cooper and then brother George (Jim) holding the spare wheel in one hand. It was so funny the yobs were all trying to say sorry and get back into their car at the same time. It’s a memory I treasure, and it still brings a smile to my face, both Henry and Jim were down to earth guys and though I can’t say I knew them well, if you met them in the Becket or anywhere else they would always say hello.
I remember the doctors surgery near the Dun Cow Dr. Aldershaw. I used to go to the Astoria and Regal cinemas. Does anyone remember The Hole in the Wall pease pudding? I always went to Berts Pies and mash. The one in the Old Kent Road
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