After aquaplaning down the Great North Road to London yesterday morning, through the worst rain I've experienced whilst driving, the clouds later scudded away rapidly to reveal this in Hornchurch.Opened as the Towers cinema in August 1935, the first double bill was The Phantom Light and Vagabond Lady. The faience-clad front elevation was designed by Kemp & Tasker, the interiors by Clark & Fenn that included a cafe and ballroom. It still seats 1,800, and was taken over by the Odeon chain in 1943 who stuck their neon sign over these architectural letters for a re-opening in 1950. The last film to be shown here was the James Bond movie Live and Let Die in 1973. And so I suppose we have to thank Mecca Bingo for revealing the sign once again. Clickety-Click.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)