Leisure => Cinema, Theatre, Radio & Filming => Topic started by: numanfan on June 06, 2010, 09:34:05

Title: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on June 06, 2010, 09:34:05
ABC cinema, at the bottom of Upbury Way, in 1989
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: karlostg on June 06, 2010, 11:51:06
ABC cinema, at the bottom of Upbury Way, in 1989
Shut down in 2002.

I remember queueing for ages outside that place, either along the High Street or up the hill.

And I don`t mean to be picky but it was the Cannon cinema in 89  :)
Title: Re: Chatham High Street
Post by: sturoberts1975 on June 06, 2010, 11:56:47
last time I went there it was for the 100th anniversary of cinema, I watched "From Dusk 'Till Dawn" by Tarantino, it was only 1p to get in and it still was not very full up, I rarely go to the cinema now they are all so far out of the way.
I can remember going to the shop over the road for sweets and then queueing and "drilling" holes in the wall with a coin while I waited, I could well be in the queue in the photo (cannot pick myself out) as Willow, Roger Rabbit and Moonwalker were all flicks I saw there
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: numanfan on June 06, 2010, 16:01:30
And I dont mean to be picky but it was the Cannon cinema in 89  :)

Doh!! It's even got the Cannon sign on there :)

Sorry about that, when did it become the ABC then?

I've got loads of the original movie posters that were posted outside the cinema. All from the early/mid 80's, some are very rare now, just waiting for the recession to finish so people will pay silly money for them & make me a millionaire :) :)
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: patmore on December 13, 2010, 04:20:35
http://www.historicmedway.co.uk/chatham/cinemas.htm
You might find this interesting,
                                   James
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: Barrowboy on December 13, 2010, 15:00:37
The original cinema on this site was the Imperial. this was demolished and re-built as the Regent. Although owed by ABC for many years, it was re-named simply as the ABC in 1957. A further re-branding to Canon took place in 1986. I think is nice to see that the new flats built on this site are named Imperial House and Regent House so retaining the two original names.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: seb on December 13, 2010, 15:27:29
I always knew this cinema as the Regent and the Ritz was on the other side of the road.   Is that still there?
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: patmore on December 13, 2010, 15:34:29
Both Ritz and Regent must have been ABC as I remember Saturday morning pictures at the Ritz where we would sing a song which began "We are the boys and girls we're known as Minors of the ABC".
                                                                  James
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: sheppey_bottles on December 13, 2010, 16:03:17
I used to love Saturday morning pictures..although mine was the ABC ( Regal) at Woolwich. Yes...we sang the song as well..happy days.. :)

We are the boys and girls all known as..
Minors of the ABC...
And every Sat-ur-day all line up...
To see the films we like and shout about with glee..
We like to laugh and have a sing-song...
Such a happy crowd are wee..eeeee
We're all friends together...
We're Minors of the ABC
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: patmore on December 14, 2010, 15:15:20
Sung to the tune 'Blaze Away' if I remember correctly Sheppey Bottles.
                                                                                   James
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: erfman on June 09, 2011, 17:24:08
And I dont mean to be picky but it was the Cannon cinema in 89  :)

Doh!! It's even got the Cannon sign on there :)

Sorry about that, when did it become the ABC then?

I've got loads of the original movie posters that were posted outside the cinema. All from the early/mid 80's, some are very rare now, just waiting for the recession to finish so people will pay silly money for them & make me a millionaire :) : i've got a fiver numanfan  :) :) erfman
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: Clankypup on October 18, 2011, 18:35:31
"Cinemas of the Medway Towns" by John Clancy states that the ABC was converted from a single screen (1647 seats) to a triple screen (528, 366, 172 seats) in 1972. That was before I lived in this area so I never saw it as a single. However, I can recall visiting the ABC from the late 1970s through to just before it closed in 2002, and I have memories only of a "stalls and circle" auditorium.

How was the original single unit converted to a triple? Were the two larger screens still "stall and circle"?


Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: man-of-kent on October 18, 2011, 20:03:59
The stalls were split in to two units and the circle was a single large unit. All units were shorter, leaving a no-mans land area around the original stage.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: farthingcornerservices on October 21, 2011, 23:55:13
Screen 3 was the smallest.  It was to the right as you entered.  You went down some stairs to get to it.
Screen 1 was the largest and that had an exit that took you out the back of the cinema.  Its exit was here on Upbury Way:

http://tinyurl.com/69fj7nw
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: man-of-kent on October 22, 2011, 07:09:38
The two 70mm projectors from the Ritz went to ABC theatre 2.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: Geoff B on April 27, 2012, 12:40:18
Both the Ritz and Regent ( as the ABC Cinema was  known) were ABC cinemas. Please find  a story about my cousin Keith Wilson who took his mum to the ABC Chatham, to see International Velvet. This was his first film that he made the background scenery for.

Keith is from Chatham. More about Keith Wilson life is contained in personalities section of the forum. He made 41 films and TV series many I am sure you have seen and not realized he was a local lad.

 http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13695.0  (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=13695.0)

The Regent site has now been rebuilt it has a hairdressers and an English Churches homeless shelter there now. There are also private flats up above it.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: BygoneMedway on May 26, 2013, 21:51:49
This is entitled Cage lane area. Regent cinema can be seen on the right.  Is this the same cinema?
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: man-of-kent on May 26, 2013, 21:59:03
It is the same location but it is the first of the two buildings to be there. Sorry I don't have dates for the rebuild.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on May 26, 2013, 22:08:09
The 'new' Regent extended right to the edge of Cage Lane, with its entrance immediately on the corner in the High Street, so that the seating faced eastwards, towards Luton Arches, and not at right angles to the High Street like the Ritz was. Queues for seats extended up Cage Lane, and the cinema staff would come round the corner and announce "three one and sixes available", or whatever the case.

I think the date for the rebuild was just pre-war, possibly 1937-1939. Is there a date for the photo?
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: smiffy on May 26, 2013, 23:56:31
Before it was called the Regent it was the IPP (Imperial Picture Palace). Closed in 1937, rebuilt and reopened in July, 1938 as the Super Regent.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: BygoneMedway on May 27, 2013, 01:07:59
Is there a date for the photo?

1930 is quoted.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: Bryn Clinch on May 27, 2013, 06:08:19
http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/31703
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: Walderslade_W on May 27, 2013, 06:26:05
Does anyone recall the small bar inside serving spirits? I recall it was based in the lower level past the lounge/bay area that people used to wait in during intermissions of longer movies.

I never even knew of the bar until the late 80's, but I think not a lot of people knew of existence then either. It was a small room that could have been a time capsule from the 70's, even the woman behind the bar looked like an extra from Bultins or Hi-De-Hi and had a tiny little pastel coloured radio playing ballad music.

And does anyone know why the theatre got the dubious nick name of 'the flea pit' ?
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: peterchall on May 27, 2013, 08:13:45
I think all cinemas were called the 'flea pit' - the 'Picture House', under the Empire Theatre, was, and I've just asked my wife if she knows where the 'flea pit' was and she replied "The Invicta", in Chatham High Street.  I think it derives from the transfer of livestock between humans in close proximity!
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: Barrowboy on May 27, 2013, 09:53:51
Peter, I agree with you. "Flea pit" ( or Bug Hutch) were generic terms for older run down cinemas, the Invicta and Picture House would certainly fit in to this class. However, the ABC was a 1930's super cinema which was built for comfort. It had very strong competition from other super cinemas nearby, the Ritz, Majestic, Palace, Embassy, and to a lesser extent the Plaza. Cinema managers in this era went out of their way to attract customers and make them feel special.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: 80sChild on October 07, 2015, 17:42:44
ABC cinema, at the bottom of Upbury Way, in 1989
(http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww272/numanfan/ABC1989.jpg)

Shut down in 2002.

I can remember going to that cinema with my family when I was a child a couple of times (about 6 times I think).
The one I remember the most was Who Framed Roger Rabbit when I was about 8 or 9 years old, which interestingly enough can be seen advertised in this photo above. :)

I can remember my mother taking me there straight from school, and because time was a bit short I didn't have time to go home and change, so I spent the entire film sitting in the audience still wearing my school uniform!
Other notable films include Hook (that one about Peter Pan starring Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, and that was about 1990) and the hugely popular Jurassic Park, which was released in 1993. I can remember my mother taking me to see that during the summer holidays.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: smiffy on December 02, 2017, 19:56:25
The Imperial Picture Palace, probably taken sometime during the 1920's. designed by the ubiquitous G. E. Bond in the "free renaissance" style and built for a total cost of 11,000. It was later renamed "The Regent" before being replaced by the "Super Regent", the subject of this thread, in 1938.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: lutonman1 on December 09, 2017, 16:31:43
The Ritz and Regent were both built in either 1937 / 8. I cant remember which was built first.
I watch them both being built. Probably on a Saturday. The Ritz had a huge sprung carpet on entry.
Title: Re: Cannon/ABC Cinema, Chatham
Post by: smiffy on December 09, 2017, 20:37:38
I've posted a reply to this in The Ritz Cinema/Bingo Hall, Chatham High St. thread.