This Wetherspoon pub has been converted from the former Capitol cinema. The building is listed and described as “a rare survival of a complete 1920’s cinema”.
The Capitol was built in 1929, on the former site of three houses in a row named Prospect Villas. The opening ceremony featured speeches by the local MP and the Mayor; music from the cinema’s organ and orchestra, and the silent movie Man, woman and sin.
This featured the heart-throb of the day, John Gilbert, who had co-starred with Greta Garbo in the earlier smash-hit, Flesh and the Devil. The Silent era was nearly over, and Gilbert’s career as a romantic lead went with it. His squeaky voice revealed by the talkies was a great disappointment to the hordes of female fans.
The Capitol showed the first talkie to be seen in the area- Al Jolson’s Singing Fool- a follow-up to his famous Jazz Singer. This was the first successful sound tracked film through various different systems of providing sound had been in use since the 1890s.
The Capitol continued as a cinema until the early 1970s, when, having survived a number of attempted new developments, it was converted into a Bingo Hall. This closed in 1996.
11-21 London Road London Greater London SE23 3TW United Kingdom