This film is part of Free

Cinemas in Faversham and Sittingbourne

Enjoy this visual record of three cinemas in Kent as filmed by Alan Stingemore in the 1980s

Amateur film 1987 3 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Screen Archive South East


We start in Faversham's Market Square where we see the New Royal cinema, bingo hall and social centre. Built in a mock-Tudor style, the building blends in well with its surroundings. The decorative plasterwork gives a clue to the original owner. At Preston Street we see a baroque-style shop facade that was once the Gem Cinema before we end at the Cannon Cinema in Sittingbourne with its Moderne-style frontage. A couple at the entrance look at posters before moving on.

Faversham's New Royal cinema was originally opened as an Odeon in 1936. Designed by Andrew Mather in a mock-Tudor style it blends into its medieval surroundings. The cinema was altered in 1974 to include a bingo hall before it finally closed in 1992. Plans to demolish the cinema were opposed by pressure groups and a local film society now uses the cinema to show a variety of films. The 'Gem', opened in 1912 and originally called the Gem Picture Palace, lasted until 1935 when a modern cinema called the Argosy opened a few doors away. The final cinema seen in the film was also originally opened as an Odeon in 1937. After various changes of owner, it is today partly a cinema and partly a bingo hall.