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July 29, 2009


Julia Lafferty

As the Secretary of the Friends of Clapton Cinematograph Theatre, I was very interested to read the memories of your reader from California who lived in Powell Road in their youth. They are indeed correct that the 1,884 seater Ritz Cinema built in 1939 was demolished and on this site now stands the block of flats next to St James's Church. However, the original Clapton Cinematograph Theatre, later renamed the Kenninghall Cinema and which is located on the other side of the Church, still survives, and the building will celebrate its centenary in 2010.

The building was converted to night club use in the 1980s but still retains much of its original structure, including a decorated barrel vaulted roof and part of the 1910 facade bearing the monogram of its original name "CCT".

The building is now up for sale and the campaign for the restoration of the cinema,which the Friends of Clapton Cinematograph Theatre are spearheading in conjunction with the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group and the Clapton Conservation Areas Advisory Committee,is working hard to ensure the preservation of this important part of Hackney's heritage so that it can once again play its part in the cultural life of the borough. More information can be obtained on the Friends of Clapton Cinematograph Theatre website, www.saveourcinema.org, where supporters can sign up to the campaign petition.

Julia Lafferty


Some more info...


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