Fullwell Cross, Barkingside, IG6 - State Cinema
The State cinema was built by famous cinema architect George Coles and opened in October 1938 with a seating capacity of nearly 2,200. In 1940 it suffered some bomb damage and was closed down and requisitioned by the Government War Office to be used as a store house for the remainder of the war.
After the war it reopened as the ABC then in 1978 became the Ace cinema in August 1984 it closed its doors for the last time. The stall area is currently used for bingo but the remainder of the cinema is all still there in its disused dusty glory and according to Lee Unwin (who took the interior pics) there is local talk of the cinema reopening one day.
Ealing, W5 - Empire Cinema
Opened in 1934 as the Ealing Forum Theatre (identical to the Forum Theatre in Kentish Town which is now still intact and operating as a well known music venue) & seated 2,175 on two levels. The opening film was “Love, Life & Laughter” starring Gracie Fields made in Ealing Studios. The cinema’s opening ceremony was performed by stage and screen star Jack Buchanan.
Renamed ABC in 1961 (later name changes include Cannon, MGM, UGC, Cineworld and it was last known as the Empire). The cinema was assessed for listing in 2003 by English Heritage but was turned down.It closed down in 2008 and demolished (apart from the facade) in early 2009.
Empire originally had plans for a 16 screen cinema but building work never started. In 2015 permission was granted for development after the Secretary of State gave approval for the council to compulsorily purchase the land. A new 1,000-seater cinema (Ealing Filmworks) will be built as part of a £100m development that will feature eight new screens, 1,000 seats, restaurants, shops and 160 flats, as part of plans described as a new Ealing cultural quarter.